My wife noticed a new free magazine the other day, The Duluth Quarterly” and squinted at it hard before turning up her nose at it. Not me. I picked it up and brought it home.
Its a thin little publication (found here) with even thinner stories having to do with city staff and projects. Its paid for by ads and put out four times a year by the publishers of the Lake Superior Magazine. Mayor Ness, who gets to pen a message at the beginning of the Winter issue and perhaps future ones, sums up the magazines mission:
“While the media puts focus on the hot button issues of the day and the actions of elected officials, it is our city employees who, without fanfare or celebration, work every day to make Duluth a better place to live and work. It is our city employees who, without fanfare or celebration, work every day to make Duluth a better place to live and work.(my italics)”
I was quite interested in the first story about the future of the Duluth Steam Plant. It has been the subject of some controversy which I was always happy to point out when Johnson Controls conned the City into paying them to improve the plant only to have the city take them to court for unfulfilled promises. The story mentions a new company, Ever-Green Energy, that will continue Johnson Controls work. We are assured good things will happen probably with little fanfare.
I was disappointed by the brief, nonexistant, “history” that was given (by my quick count) 57 words. Apparently the plant was successfully run by the “Duluth Steam Cooperative for many years.” Fini.
When I was on the School Board I had the facilities manager Kerry Leider give me a grand tour of Old Central which included the basement and we spent a lot of time looking at the pipes in the basement that brought the Steam Plant’s heat to the school. The downtown has been heated by the plant for decades. The history deserved more highlighting.
The story assures the reader that the new managers offer Duluth a “win win” and concludes by saying “That’s change we can all welcome.”
There are similar stories about the new transportation hub and the City’s parks post June flooding.
A brief google search led me to Perfect Duluth Day and Paul Lundgren’s 2010 announcement, based on a City press release, that the first issue would be made available on December tenth (my birthday).
The magazine seems like harmless if not very useful puffery for the City of Duluth. That its been out there for two years and I’ve failed to notice it says something. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d even picked up previous issues without giving them much thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d even picked up previous issues without giving them much thought.