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Commentary: Are we 'losing sight' of Duluth's beauty?

Duluth, Minnesota, the scenic city of the north, is nestled nicely on the shores of Gitchee Gummi. Duluth, now finally getting a serious focus on its strength, the waterfront, is about to explode with enthusiasm. Lois Paulucci has announced she w...

Duluth, Minnesota, the scenic city of the north, is nestled nicely on the shores of Gitchee Gummi. Duluth, now finally getting a serious focus on its strength, the waterfront, is about to explode with enthusiasm. Lois Paulucci has announced she will raise the ante and dedicate not $2 million but $3 million to the Bayfront Park improvement project.
But alas, I suspect the 'againers' will be out in force with their doomsday philosophies. If that tactic doesn't raise some eyeballs, the Duluth City Council will surely intercede with plans to direct Duluth's obvious future with an "expertise" of its own. For some reason we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, and yet, in spite of all this, look around, Duluth is more than a dying industrial giant of yesteryear.
Duluth's business and civic leadership is not content to relegate its total interests to government handout programs supported by a bureaucratic cadre. Duluth is alive and well, and if we don't self-destruct from within, Duluth will survive as a major business, commercial, educational, cultural and tourism center. It is already happening.
This writer has a problem that is related to the waterfront, but has nothing to do with ongoing improvements and plans. It has to do with an almost forgotten asset, Duluth's Skyline Parkway. Are we "losing sight" of its potential complement to our fine city? The overall significance of this valuable asset is now pretty much in the shadows and obscured by brush and scraggly trees of all shapes and sizes. Duluth's scenic beauty, looking from above, is almost non-existent to the naked eye. What a tragedy.
Many years ago, in the late 1960s or early '70s, I authored a column called "Action Editor." It was a column dedicated to solving people problems and putting government departments on alert that average citizens had an advocate working for them. It was highly successful and hundreds of problems were solved quickly, most without additional governmental subsidies. One such issue dealt with the Skyline Parkway. I drove it one day and found it difficult to keep on course, especially around the Chester Park area, 24th Avenue West, the Getchell and Highland intersection and other puzzling areas.
I called then Mayor Ben Boo and suggested an off-color stripe be painted on the Skyline roadway so that at complex intersections, motorists would not stray off track. He agreed with me, and a green stripe was painted on the roadway from one end of the city to the other. You can still see some remnants of this today. It worked, and tens of thousands of motorists stayed on course.
Duluth's hillside beauty was a picture to write home about, but alas, most of the scenic beauty is obscured now, and the culprit is scrub brush and trees. This is a tragedy. City officials should set up a program to cut back this brush, thin out the trees, and restore this asset for what it was intended to be, a scenic drive for all to enjoy and cherish.
I know the "greens" will have something to say about this, but for goodness sakes, cutting scrub brush and thinning tree lines only enhances quality growth and beauty. What good is a scenic roadway that is obscured with worthless growth? Drive it yourself, and you'll see what is taking place here.
Duluth's Skyline Parkway is an asset that needs to be renewed with logic. Sometimes one has to wonder why we can't see the forest for the trees? This is a good question that needs some serious attention.

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