The Gimlet
Volume 107 #50
This Week at Rotary
We Meet at Noon on Thursday
June 16, 2022
For Those Attending in Person
Buffet Lunch
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
The Duluth hospitality industry is a tremendous economic driver for the Duluth economy.
A newly formed collective, the Duluth Tourism Collaborative, is collaborating to increase tourism in our city. Using the format of a panel discussion, representatives of the Collaborative—the City of Duluth, in partnership with Bellmont Partners and Lawrence & Schiller
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Patra Sevastiades
President Chana Stocke brought the meeting to order, noting that she will have the pleasure to do so for only two more times after today. All said the Pledge of Allegiance and affirmed the 4-Way Test.
The Reflection was offered by David Fulda about Minnesota’s love/hate relationship with summer, which brings road construction and its attendant inconveniences. He posed the rhetorical question, “What road are we now on at Rotary?” He remarked that last week’s Presidents’ Dinner revisited the roads that our past three Presidents took us down. He added, “Past performance is a good indicator of future behavior, and under our next president, we will also make good progress, just as the Minnesota Department of Transportation does.” He reminded all that, during road construction, stress rises, but so does hope. “Whatever lane you are in, be considerate of others,” he urged. “This, too, shall pass.”
David Fulda provides a Reflection on metaphorical roads and roads under construction.
President Chana Stocke introduced guest Jeff Wencl (rhymes with “pencil”), a colleague of Past President Michael Orman, at Beaumier Trogdon Orman Hurd & Viegas. President Chana Stocke also introduced Anna Papaioannou of Glossa Global Translations LLC, a guest of Past President Dean Casperson.
Past President Dean Casperson and guest Anna Papaioannou
Patra Sevastiades, who left her club badge at home, was rescued from disgrace by Past President Dean Casperson, who put $2 in the Golden Can.
Patra Sevastiades, guilty as charged of forgetting her badge.
Paul Helstrom celebrated his daughter Ginger’s selection to become a school crossing guard next year. Paul Helstrom also invited all Club members to his home at 415 Hawthorne on July 17 (4:00-9:00 pm) to hear Charlie Parr and another special guest performance at a fundraiser in support of Loaves & Fishes. $30 donation for an evening of music, Hoops Beer, delicious appetizers, and great company.   
Proud Papa Paul Helstrom celebrates his daughter as President Chana Stocke listens.
Past President Dean Casperson reminded Rotarians of the past Zoom presentation by his daughter, Dr. Kelly Casperson, about women’s sexual health and its implications for those who love them. Past President Dean Casperson then announced that Dr. Casperson, current host of a successful podcast, has a new book, You Are Not Broken! Past President Bonita Nelson invited all to a celebration of life for her late husband Lucky on Friday, June 17, at 11:00 am at the Veterans Cemetery. She added $60 to the gold bucket to celebrate her and Lucky’s nearly 60 years of marriage.
Past President Dean Casperson
 Past President Bonita Nelson
President Chana Stocke thanked all for a successful and wonderful Presidents’ Night event last week. President Chana Stocke acknowledged the hard work of the committee who made it happen: President-Elect Barb Perrella, Elizabeth Simonson, Gary Melander, Jerry Thoreson, Jon Ohman, Karol Sowers, Mary Niemeyer, and Renee Mattson.
Paul Helstrom, chair of Club #25’s International Service Committee, introduced Carol Cyr of Bathrooms for Belize, and presented a grant of $2,500 from the Club to help in the ongoing work of providing toilets—the item most requested when she speaks to locals about local needs. The construction of the toilets provides local employment, materials are sourced from local vendors, and it promotes health for the community. Paul Helstrom encouraged Rotarians who are interested to get involved; perhaps a trip to Belize and a connection with the Rotary of Belize City can be arranged!
Paul Helstrom listens thoughtfully to Bathrooms for Belize coordinator Carol Cyr as she thanks the Club for a grant of $2,500.
President Chana Stocke urged all Rotarians to sign up in the next two weeks to be on two Club committees in the coming year! Now is the time to share your talents and passions with the club. Dan Maki encouraged all Rotarians to take the opportunity to participate in Grandma’s Marathon on June 18, handing out water to thirsty runners at water stations, and providing sign-up sheets on each table.
Dan Maki invites Rotarians to volunteer at Grandma’s Marathon.]
Jon Ohman introduced today’s speaker, Margie Nelson, Public Affairs Coordinator of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). Margie gave an update on our MnDOT District 1. Fun fact: our district has 3,710 lane miles of state highway crisscrossing it.
District 1 North includes International Falls, Biwabik, and Remer, among others. In 2022, state highway maintenance includes road repair for chipped and damaged highways, updating highway lighting with LED lights, replacing damaged signs, etc.
District 1 South includes Two Harbors, Cromwell, Sandstone, and Barnum, among others.
Significantly, it includes the Blatnik Bridge, which was opened in 1961. Work is ongoing on the bridge to extend its service life even as plans are being considered for its future replacement. It was determined that the Twin Ports needs two bridges, not just one. The anticipated construction start date for a replacement bridge is 2028, and the endpoint of the bridge in Superior, Wisconsin, may be changed from its current location.
District 1 South also includes the Twin Ports Interchange. The new design features no left exits, merges have been relocated, and the road has been lowered to grade rather than being elevated. These improvements will allow oversized and overweight freight to be carried on the interstate rather than on city streets.
The ground under the future roadway of the interchange is not stable, so pilings have been sunk to enhance stability. The girders for the redesigned interchange are made in Wisconsin, transported to the work site, then lowered into place, an impressive feat of engineering. Retaining walls will be on either side of the new freeway.
Finally, District 1 South also includes the 5th Avenue West bridge. Discussions are ongoing.
Margie Nelson, Public Affairs Coordinator, MnDOT
Anyone wishing to learn more are encouraged to email Margie at
President Chana Stocke ran the 50-50 drawing. Guest Anna Papaioannou was the lucky winner.
Vinod Gupta is welcomed by Jack Seiler.
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Center Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. Superior St
Duluth, MN
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
Jun 16, 2022
Tourism Panel Discussion
Jun 23, 2022
North Shore Community School, 20 Years Strong
Jun 30, 2022
The Annual Peaceful Transfer of Power!
Jul 07, 2022
Enjoy fellowship and an outdoor picnic at the Rotary Peace Plaza at Enger Tower
Jul 14, 2022
Gates Foundation Initiatives
Jul 21, 2022
Duluth Transit Authority
Jul 28, 2022
Rotary Fellowship
Aug 04, 2022
The Truth About the Captive Wildlife Crisis
Aug 11, 2022
Zone Institute
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Jun 21, 2022 3:30 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Jul 19, 2022 3:30 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robin Pestalozzi
June 7
Brett Kinney
June 15
Mike Lalich
June 16
Phil Strom
June 25
Join Date
Dean Casperson
June 3, 2004
18 years
Jerry Pelofske
June 6, 1991
31 years
Roxanna Esguerra
June 7, 2021
1 year
Jeffrey Fifield
June 9, 1983
39 years
Tom Homan
June 14, 2001
21 years
Jenny Peterson
June 16, 2016
6 years
Patra Sevastiades
June 16, 2021
1 year
Jon Ohman
June 18, 1998
24 years
Earl Rogers
June 20, 1991
31 years
Dan Dock
June 21, 1984
38 years
Gary Melander
June 30, 1998
24 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
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Until Further Notice