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Duluth's Holy Rosary School just received a seasonally appropriate and impressive Advent gift — a 7- by 8-foot painting of the Virgin Mary in a rather unorthodox setting. In a work roughly 2½ laborious years in the making, artist Jeffrey Larson depicted Mary appearing before the children of Duluth, much as she was reported to have appeared miraculously before the children of Fatima, Portugal, more than a century ago.
A controversial proposal to rezone a portion of Kenwood, allowing for higher-density residential development in the neighborhood, will land in front of the Duluth City Council Monday. And if 2nd District Councilor Joel Sipress has his way, the body will reject the proposed ordinance, following the lead of the Duluth Planning Commission, which voted 7-1 on Nov. 13 to recommend the council deny the rezoning request.
With the help of a McKnight Foundation grant this year, the city of Duluth turned Canal Park into a laboratory, where it tested out several ideas to make this already-popular tourist destination even more of a draw for out-of-towners and locals, alike.
The city of Duluth will be asked to help lift in the effort to get a new 15-story downtown residential high-rise off the ground. The proposed $70.4 million development would provide 204 units of housing plus about 20,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor. But a financial analysis of the project by Ehlers & Associates has revealed a $6.4 million funding gap, said Keith Hamre, Duluth's director of business and economic development.
Lake Place Park in downtown Duluth got a new name Monday night, when a unanimous City Council voted to redub it Gichi-ode' Akiing, Ojibwe for "a grand heart place." In other action, a divided council also voted to support a greater-than-initially-proposed increase in the city property tax next year — a move that would enable Duluth to take another step toward phasing out a monthly streetlight fee residents pay on their utility bills. New park name
It appears that bicycle lanes won't be coming to Duluth's East Eighth Street any time soon. On Friday morning, the Duluth Parking Commission rescinded an authorization to eliminate parking on the lower side of East Eighth Street between 19th Avenue East and the Chester Creek bridge near 15th Avenue East. City staff had proposed to lose the parking to make way for dedicated bike lanes on Eighth Street, but they backed off that plan in the face concerns raised by local businesses and residents.
Lake Place Park soon may get a new name that better reflects downtown Duluth's origins — an area once squarely the domain of the Anishinaabe people. On Monday, the Duluth City Council is expected to take up a resolution to rename the lakeshore park. Ray "Skip" Sandman, an elder from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, welcomes the prospect of renaming the park Gichi-ode' Akiing — pronounced gichee-o-day-ah-king. He said it means "a great heart here."
Duluth's two municipal golf courses will be open for business as usual in 2019. Despite questions about the long-term financial viability of the courses, which have accrued upward of $2.2 million in debt over time, Jim Filby Williams, Duluth's director of public administration, told city councilors Thursday that the city expects to maintain their status quo operation next year.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson proposes a 4 percent increase in tourism tax spending next year after freezing those funds for 2018. In all, she hopes to spend just shy of $12 million in 2019 — 4 percent more than this year. Wayne Parson, Duluth's chief financial officer, expects the increase will be supported by the growth the city has seen with its tourism tax collections, which have been running 4.3 percent above last year's level, year-to-date through October.
More than 200 people packed into the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center's Horizon Room to share their hopes and concerns with Minnesota Gov.-elect Tim Walz Monday afternoon. And they had a lot to say. What was scheduled to be a one-hour "listening session" stretched into more than 90 minutes of discussion, as more than 60 people peppered Walz and his soon-to-be lieutenant governor — Peggy Flanagan — with questions and pleas.