The Gimlet
Volume 108 #47

This Week at Rotary
Thursday May 25, 2023
For Those Attending in Person
Buffet Lunch
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown

Sarah Lawrence, and  Annie DuganLOON Opera will present “New Tours for Spring, Summer & Fall”
Sarah Lawrence, Artistic Director of Lyric Opera of the North (LOON Opera), enjoys a widely varied career as a singing actor in opera, musical theatre, and in concert, singing everything from Baroque to Broadway. When Ruth Jacobson founded LOON, she hired Sarah to sing the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute. Since then, Sarah has appeared with the company in other roles. After Ruth’s death in the winter of 2010, Sarah and her husband, Cal Metts, were asked to share the role of General Artistic Directors for LOON.
Anne Dugan is an independent curator and teaches art history at the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin Superior. She and her husband own and operate the Food Farm, an organic community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Wrenshall, MN. Annie is now part of the magic that makes LOON a local cultural gem.
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Patra Sevastiades
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin,” observes motivational speaker Tony Robbins. It’s true of road construction and maintenance as well, and as Rotarians learned today, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, (MNDot) has taken this to heart: Some of the road work in the Northland is planned out as far as 2031!
President Barb Perrella opened the meeting, welcomed everyone, said, “It is a good day in Duluth!” and led us all in singing the national anthem, accompanied by Past President John Baumgarten on the keyboard. Then the assembled Rotarians said the Rotary 4-Way Test.
President Barb Perrella opens the meeting and announces we have new members.
Past President John Baumgarten tickles the keys and plays the national anthem.
Past Assistant District Governor Al Makynen took to the podium to give the Reflection. He deftly related a story about traveling on a highway that divided a rich green landscape to the east from a grey, desolate landscape to the west. He suggested that as we travel life’s highway, we be alert to our surroundings and prepared to serve the needs of others, to create lush possibilities.
Past Assistant District Governor Al Makynen delivers a thoughtful Reflection.
When it was time for self-reporting, Jerry Thoreson noted that 364 days ago, on his 62nd birthday, he was given a copy of the book Younger Next Year. He took its lessons to heart: commit (to good behaviors of exercising and eating), connect (with other people), and care (for people and things beyond oneself). This recipe for staying young has worked! He turned 63 the next day, but stated "I feel like I'm 55!"—so he put $55 in the golden can!
Jerry Thoreson inspires as he talks about how to stay young.
Assistant District Governor Tricia Bunten reported that she will be retiring this summer from UMD, and she and her husband will start sailing around the world (!) in September.
Congratulations Assistant District Governor Tricia Bunten!
President Barb Perrella enthusiastically reported that the Club has two new members. She introduced Clark Garthwait, a Rotarian from the Superior Rotary Club. The District Director for the Arrowhead Voyageurs Area Council (Arrowhead) of the Boy Scouts of America, he said he is pleased to continue his Rotary commitment by being part of Club 25. Robin Pestalozzi introduced Sandra Haugo, who works for the Essentia Health Foundation as the Donor Relations and Major Gift Specialist for oncology services. A warm welcome to our newest members!
New member Clark Garthwait shows his new nametag and tells us about himself.
Robin Pestalozzi introduces new member Sandra Haugo.
New member Sandra Haugo tells a little about herself.
Jerry Thoreson then spoke. Past President Brandon Robinson had encouraged Jerry to become part of Leadership Duluth, and he did. As his Leadership Duluth community project this year, Jerry chose to highlight and broadcast the new nationwide 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Easier to remember than a 10-digit phone number, it is a resource for anyone struggling with a mental health crisis or for anyone who loves someone who is in the midst of such a crisis—a powerful resource that can make a real difference. Jerry asked Past President Dean Casperson if the Leadership Duluth Just Breathe 988 project could partner with Rotary Club 25 this year in support of the CHILD Mental Health Access initiative that funds on-site counseling services to kids at the Boys and Girls Club in Duluth. His request was met with a resounding yes. As a result, this year, the joint goal for the CHILD Mental Health Access initiative this year is $50,000: Rotary’s annual goal of $25,000 has already by donated by Rotarians in Club 25 (including $10,000 from the Rotary Club 25 of Duluth Foundation). With the Leadership Duluth initiative, they are nearing $30,000!  Do you want to support this endeavor—or support it again? Click here
Chair of the day Justin Terch—his first time doing so! — introduced today’s speaker, Margie Nelson, the Public Affairs Coordinator for District 1 at MNDot. A native of southern California, Margie was formerly a Harbortown Rotarian and has previously spoken at Club 25. Today, she returns to give an update on the sometimes vexing but always necessary road work in the Northland.
Chair of the day Justin Terch introduces speaker Margie Nelson of MNDot.
In our area, District 1, MNDot is currently working on 22 projects with a total budget of $47 million. But let’s cut to the chase: What’s the story of the Twin Ports Interchange? This massive project was undertaken to enhance safety by eliminating blind merges and left exits and to improve freight mobility by allowing oversize/overweight freight on the Interstate system—rather than on local roads. Since the previous infrastructure was aging, the time for a complete refresh suggested itself to clever engineers, who took the opportunity to remake this interchange and dramatically improve it.
Margie Nelson updates the Club on highway construction and maintenance.
Birds eye view of the partly completed Twin Ports Interchange project.
What’s the timeline?
First, the good news: construction is year-round.
Summer/fall 2023: Two lanes will be maintained in each direction on I-35; I-535 and US Hwy 53 are detoured; lower Michigan St. bypass will remain closed to "local traffic" until fall 2024.
Fall 2024: "Substantial completion" anticipated for Interstate and bridge work.
Fall 2025: Done!
Other projects:
  • 2024: Mission Creek bridge replacement and Hwy 23 construction
  • 2024: Resurface Hwy 61 from Superior St to McQuade Rd
  • 2025: London Rd: Repave and intersection improvements between 26th Ave E and 60th Ave E (at least one roundabout anticipated)
  • 2026: Resurface Hwy 2 in Proctor
  • 2028: Central Entrance reconstruction
  • 2028: Blatnik Bridge replacement
  • 2031: 5th Avenue West Bridge replacement
This was followed by Q & A:
Why are roundabouts increasing in Duluth? Three reasons: safety, safety, safety. Traffic flows more smoothly and accidents are significantly reduced.
When will access to Superior via the Bong Bridge reopen? Fall 2023.
Tell us more about the Central Entrance reconstruction. It will stretch from Copper Top Church to just before Cub Foods.
Are speed bumps a possibility? Because of snowplowing and traffic, these are not good options for state highways.
Why do some roads deteriorate so much more quickly than others? Local ground conditions combined with rough weather conditions and amount of use of the roads are responsible.
What is the life expectancy of the new Twin Ports Exchange? Best guess: 50 years.
Regarding the 5th Avenue West Bridge, why not consider making this a parkway connecting downtown to Canal Park? This is a funding question, who pays for it? The discussion is still ongoing.
How are Minnesota highway maintenance and construction funded? It varies: Some are funded by federal and state dollars. Some roads are federal funding only, some are state only.
How much road work is done at night?  A little, especially on smaller projects, in an effort to reduce inconvenience to drivers. However, it is much safer for workers to work in the daylight.
For more information about road construction in the Northland, go to and select District 1.
President Barb Perrella announced the following:
Gorgeous flowering plants left over from the dinner/auction are available to take home for a mere $20 each.
Past President Bonita Nelson is in the hospital recovering well from a brain aneurysm.
Former Club 25 Rotarian Charlie Grubb died on May 18, his 84th birthday. His dear wife, Mary, recently died as well. The funeral will be held on May 25, 2023, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Lakeside, with a 10am visitation and an 11am mass.
Next week’s program will be about LOON Opera!
Justin Reid won the 50/50 drawing.
Overheard after the meeting: Assistant District Governor Tricia Bunten noted that she and her husband will be heading back to Sweden to see if their boat is done and said, “We are very lucky, very blessed.”
Jim Schwartz and Past Assistant District Governor Al Makynen welcome arriving members and sell 50/50 tickets.
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. 1st Street
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
May 25, 2023
Presentation from LOON Opera
Jun 01, 2023
His trip to Antarctica - a professional photographer and semi pro astronomer
Jun 08, 2023
Lester River Rendezvous
Jun 15, 2023 12:00 PM
Jun 22, 2023
Off-site and evening event
Jul 06, 2023
Gary's First Meeting
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Jun 21, 2023 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Jul 19, 2023 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Corey Collier
May 1
Catherine Carter Huber
May 3
Jim Landwehr
May 4
Jim Olson
May 5
Douglas Erickson
May 15
Jerry Thoreson
May 19
Katrina Pierson
May 20
Kate Molinaro
May 21
John Baumgarten
May 23
Karol Sowers
May 24
Rudy Harvey
May 26
Join Date
Jim Olson
May 11, 1995
28 years
Kate Molinaro
May 11, 1989
34 years
Corey Collier
May 14, 2015
8 years
Mike Murray
May 15, 2003
20 years
Rob Hofmann
May 15, 2008
15 years
Traci Marciniak
May 16, 2013
10 years
Sheryl Homan
May 19, 2005
18 years
Jim Landwehr
May 21, 1987
36 years
Bill Sozansky
May 23, 2019
4 years
Jennifer Smith
May 24, 2018
5 years
Catherine Carter Huber
May 29, 2003
20 years
Official Publication of
Rotary Club of Duluth
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Duluth Minnesota 55802
Rob Hofmann
Darlene Anderson
Rob Hofmann
Al Makynen
Traci Marciniak
Phil Strom
Steve Yorde
Jerry Thoreson
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