Take a look at the library's new layout!

Northfield Public Library - Kids Info - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 9:55am

 These are working plans subject to some change.
Categories: Organizations

Luminaries for Loved Ones

St. Dominic - Church News - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 8:56am

Our High School youth will be selling luminaries for loved ones following the masses this weekend.  Buy a luminary for $5 and help light the pathway into church for our Christmas Eve Vigil.  Proceeds go to the June Mission Trip to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

Categories: Organizations

Gala 2014

Laura Baker Services Association - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:43pm

The 2014 Gala, held on December 6th at the Weitz Center, was a success and we are grateful for all that made it possible. We were honored to have Barry Morrow engage us with his stories and entertained by the Laura Baker Choir. Thank you for your support!

Categories: Organizations

Looking for a great volunteering experience!?

TABleau (Northfield Public Library) - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 2:08pm
The Northfield Library's Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is looking for new members!

The requirements are:

1.  Must be a teen in grade 9 or up.
2.  Must be interesting in what the library has and offers for teen.

TAB meet the first Monday of the month at 7 pm.  Our next meeting is Monday, January 5th in the library's meeting room.  Refreshments served.  Welcome all!
Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | 12.18.2014

Northfield Rotary Club - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:09pm

Today: Kevin Born and Naomi Mortenson, Environmental Tillage Systems (Lorang)

Birthdays: Lots of candles this week: Jim Pokorney (12/7), Dean Johnson (12/14), Dale Ness and John Ophaug (12/15), Blake Abdella and Vicki Dilley (12/21), Virginia Kaczmarek (12/22), Bill Carlson (12/23), Rich Lorang and Neil Lutsky (12/27), Jake Conway (12/28), and Ingrid Sampo (1/2).

Next Week: Two week “holiday hiatus” then on January 8 we will have Libby McKenna here to talk about “Water Pumps in Southern Nepal” (Sinning)

Last Week:

Editor’s Note: This is a good example of “pretty close journalism.” During last week’s presentation, I was forced to take notes in the dark, so I may be a little fuzzy on the details. Thanks for your patience. Here it comes.

Do you want to see a $150 billion increase in annual giving to health and human service nonprofits?

Dan Pallotta, a social entrepreneur and humanitarian activist, believes it can happen if we rethink our approach to charitable fundraising. He says we have it all wrong. By borrowing some of the private sector’s rules of the road, we could dramatically increase the resources available for the causes we support.

President Rich shared a TED Talk Pallotta gave recently on this issue. Matthew said he hopes it will stimulate a conversation about our personal and club philosophies on charitable giving.

Charitable giving has been stable at about 2 percent of gross national product for the last 40 years. Even a 1 percent increase would generate another $150 billion annually, Pallotta estimates.

But he says, we have to stop confusing morality with frugality. Nonprofits’ success is limited by conventional beliefs that suggest: 1) Nonprofit executives should sacrifice compensation for the opportunity to work in a mission-driven organization; 2) Advertising is an expense, not an investment; 3) We must play safe with donated dollars, which discourages innovation and risk-taking; 4) We can’t afford to operate with long time horizons or long-term investments; 5) Overhead is a dirty word. There should never be money left over.

Progress on social and humanitarian initiatives is slow on many fronts. Poverty for 10 percent of our population is an intransigent problem. He said if we want to follow Buckminister Fuller’s advice and work for a “world that works for everyone” we need to make changes. That will be up to each one of us.

For another look at Pallotta’s TED talk, go to:

Guests: No guests today. Just us.

Scholarship Enhancement: Giulia Mercanti, our exchange student


— Today is the last day to submit a nomination for this year’s Good Neighbor Award. Please share your nomination with Erica Zweifel. Nominees who give expression to the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” will be considered. They must be a resident of the Northfield School District. Rotary members and their family members are not eligible.

— Rob Bierman tied up some loose ends on the Turkey Trot. The Weitz Center received good reviews as a staging area, and the results of an online survey of participants were very favorable. He also thanked Fred Rogers, Charlie Cogan and Joe Hargis for helping secure the Weitz Center for the event. Between donations and our gift of Great Harvest Bread, the event generated more than 1,000 pounds of food for the Northfield Food Shelf.

Rotary is responsible Meals-On-Wheels delivery the first two full weeks of January. If you are interested in driving, sign up on our web site or check with Lynne Pederson.

— Vicki Dilley is recovering from back surgery. A bulletin was circulated and members shared words of encouragement.

— Twenty-one Northfield students were among the 70 that attended Country Fair Dec. 6. They will soon learn if they have been selected for an exchange year.

Coming Up:

Dec. 29 — YEAR (Youth Exchange And Reflections)

Jan. 15 — Ramiz Allawala, Wellstone Training (Taylor)

Jan. 22 — Liz Blanchard, Northfield Women’s Center (Amerman)

Jan. 29 — Lydia shares her youth exchange experience.

Categories: Organizations

Proposed Timeline for Final Approval, Bidding, and Construction

Northfield Skateboard Coalition - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 1:54pm
In the packet for the December 18, 2014 Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) meeting is a proposed timeline for the final stages of the skatepark project, including final approval by the PRAB and City Council (January 2015), construction bidding (March 2015), and construction (May-August 2015). The document can be found here
Categories: Organizations


Northfield Reader's Corner - Fri, 12/12/2014 - 12:48pm


All the Light We Cannot See—Anthony Doerr
Museum of Extraordinary Things—Alice Hoffman
Cambridge—Susanna Kaysen
Goldfinch—Donna Tartt
The Invention of Wings—Sue Monk Kidd
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher; stories—Hillary Mantel
The Children Act—Ian McEwan
The Arsonist—Sue Miller
Still Life With Bread Crumbs—Anna Quindlen
Lila—Marilynne Robinson
Nora Webster—Colm Toibin
Before we Say Goodnight: How to tell Bedtime Stories about Your Life and Family—Hank Frazee
Can’t we Talk About Something More Pleasant? A Memoir—Roz Chast
Empathy Exams: Essays—Leslie Jamison
 A Farm Dies Once a Year—Arlo Crawford
  In the Kingdom of Ice: the Grand and Terrible Voyage of the U.S.S.
 Jeannette—Hampton Sides

  Lego Architecture: the Visual Guide—Phillip Wilkinson
  Minnesota’s Own: Preserving our Grand Homes—Larry Millett
  Texts from Jane Eyre– Mallory Ortberg
  Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End—Atul Gawande
  Yes, Please—Amy Poehler     Cookbooks   America: Farm to Table: Simple, Delicious Recipes Celebrating   Local Farmers—Mario Batali   Baking Bible—Rose Levy Berenbaum   Lake Superior Flavors: a Field  Guide to Food and Drink Along the Circle                    Tour—James R. Norton   Make some Beer: Small Batch Recipes from Brooklyn to Bamburg– Erica Shea   Make it Ahead: a Barefoot Contessa Cookbook—Ina Garten     Children’s Picture Books   Book with No Pictures—B.J. Novak   Duck Sock Hop—Jane Kohuth   I Wish I Had a Pet—Maggie Rudy   Ninja Red Riding Hood—Corey Schwartz   The Secret Life of Squirrels—Nancy Rose   Little Blue Truck’s Christmas—Alice Shertle    

Categories: Organizations

Take It To The Box

Lynn James, Evidence Technician, and Monte Nelson, Police Chief, share helpful information about Rice County’s prescription drug disposal program.  Check out this short, informative video!

Categories: Organizations

Rotary Cogwheel | 12.11.2014

Northfield Rotary Club - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 9:55am

Today: President Matthew Rich Promises Something Unconventional

Birthdays: Jim Holden (12/6) Rotarians Across the Globe!

Next Week: Kevin Born and Naomi Mortenson, Environmental Tillage Systems (Lorang)

Last Week:

District Governor Karel Weigel has her elevator speech down pat.

“Rotary’s most important job is to do good in the world,” she says.

Five core values — fellowship, service, diversity, integrity and leadership — guide the Rotary mission. It is the fellowship and the service that make Rotary the vital organization that it is, she said. Those two values are what really inspire members to support youth exchange, water and sanitation projects, literacy and polio eradication.

The key to sustainable community development, the governor said, is to build relationships before we build stuff. A project model used in Nicaragua gets her endorsement. First help the local people dream. Then, figure out how they can achieve those dreams and then set it all in motion.

She reminded us of the underpinnings of successful humanitarian service. We need strong, active clubs and an enhanced public image. People need to know what we do and how we do it.

Karel looks to the late revered anthropologist Margaret Mead for inspiration and motivation. Quoting Mead, Karel said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful , committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”


Charlie Cogan’s life changed when he went to Togo as a Peace Corps volunteer in the mid-1980s. He met his wife there, and they now have three children and a grandchild. He joined Rotary in 1988 while living in Evanston, Ill. He saw the organization as a vehicle to improve health care in Togo after his wife’s younger brother died there. Charlie continues to see the opportunity to improve lives and build understanding through Rotary.

 Guests: Kim Briske, Director of Technology Services for Northfield Public Schools (Hillmann), Judy Dirks (Yogi) and Elizabeth Child, Executive Director of Northfield Area United Way, (Estenson).

Scholarship Enhancement: David Halsor


— Wow! Despite this year’s frigid temperatures — coldest Thanksgiving since Hoover was president, according to Rob Bierman — the Turkey Trot netted more than $17,000. Again, wow! We had 900 run-walkers registered and a courageous 800 took the plunge, I mean made the run. Greg Carlson, Rotary’s human Timex — he keeps on ticking — took club bragging rights for the umpteenth year. Nice job everyone.

— If you have a nomination for this year’s Good Neighbor Award, talk to Erica Zweifel. Nominees who give expression to the Rotary motto “Service Above Self” will be considered. They must be a resident of the Northfield School District. Rotary members and their family members are not eligible. Check our web site for a nomination form. Nominations need to be in by Thursday, Dec. 18. Last year’s award went to Margit Johnson; Zach Pruitt received it the year before that.

Rotary is responsible Meals-On-Wheels delivery the first two full weeks of January. If you are interested in driving, let Lynne Pederson know.

— Congratulations to Beth Kallestad and the Cannon River Watershed Partnership for winning an $88,213 grant from the Bush Foundation and also to Todd Thompson, whose “kickstart” appeal generated $10,000 for music education in Guatemala. Matt Hillmann finally completed his doctorate degree from Minnesota University Mankato. He finished his academic career just two years before his eldest son is ready for college.

Past Northfield Rotary Club meeting videos on Youtube: NorthfieldRotaryClubVideos

Coming Up:
Dec. 25 — High Holiday Hiatus. See you next year.

Jan. 8 — Libby McKenna, Water Pumps in Southern Nepal (Sinning)

Jan. 15 — Ramiz Allawala, Wellstone Training (Taylor)

Jan. 22 — Liz Blanchard, Northfield Women’s Center (Ammerman)

Categories: Organizations

Trashy Little Xmas

Northfield Arts Town - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 11:33am

Honky-tonk legends Trailer Trash will bring their very popular “Trashy Little Xmas Show” back to Northfield’s Grand Event Center on Friday, Dec. 12. One of Minnesota’s most popular bands, Trailer Trash has been performing their annual holiday revue for over 20 years to sold-out audiences in Minneapolis and Rochester. The band is particularly pleased to bring their holiday extravaganza back to Northfield again in 2014.

Since 1993, Trailer Trash has drawn enthusiastic crowds at the legendary Lee’s Liquor Lounge in downtown Minneapolis. Best known for playing country music, the band also swings, rocks and grooves with the many other styles from the American hit parade. With their “Trashy Little Xmas Show,” Trailer Trash revamps the Christmas classics and mixes in some festive originals for a holiday show that’s the perfect anecdote to this sometimes stressful time of year.

The Grand Event Center is located at 316 Washington Street in Northfield. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, and can be purchased at the KYMN Radio studios (200 Division Street) and online at or

Categories: Organizations

Hidden Valley Park trail now plowed in winter

Valley Pond Townhome Association - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 9:33pm

Back in Feb 2008, I blogged about the lack of plowing the trail around Hidden Valley Pond in winter, and how other adjacent trails are sometimes plowed.

The issue of plowing paved trails throughout the city came before the City Council last winter and on Feb. 11, 2014, the council approved this motion:

The Northfield City Council hereby approves a motion to remove snow from all City trails, as described in Option Three.

Here’s an excerpt from a PDF memo to the Council by then City Engineer Joe Stapf that describes Option 3:

Option #3 – Simply plow the Outbounds using the personnel and equipment we already have, except everyone needs to understand it will take longer to finish the Outbounds, and the streets will remain the highest priority in snow removal. Currently we plow BOTH streets and the established Outbound routes simultaneously; once the drivers of the snowplows are done with their routes, under this third option they would use whatever equipment remains and some would start on the additional Outbounds. This third alternative is the simplest to implement. However, the level of service may not be up to everyone’s expectations in that some trail segments may not be cleared until the day after or even the second day after the snowfall.

Here are two photos of the plowed Hidden Valley Park trail from November 20, a couple days after a snowfall:



Categories: Organizations

Northfield Youth Choirs Director is Making a Difference

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative - Mon, 12/08/2014 - 10:42am

Elizabeth Shepley, the artistic director of the Northfield Youth Choirs, has received the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative’s “Making a Difference” Award for November. The award celebrates groups and individuals in the community who have a positive influence on Northfield youth.

The Northfield Youth Choirs (NYC) consists of seven choirs and summer programs that serve 200 singers in grades preK-12 and 50 college students and adults. Shepley has been an NYC conductor since 2001 and has served as its artistic director since 2005.

Under Shepley’s leadership, NYC singers have performed locally, regionally and internationally; this summer she will lead a tour to New York City, where Northfield singers will participate in a children’s choir series at Carnegie Hall.

NYC Board President Dan Dressen said the Northfield Youth Choirs organization is one of the “gems that distinguishes the quality of life in Northfield.”

“Through her imagination, commitment to excellence and indefatigable spirit, Liz Shepley has led NYC to remarkable heights, both organizationally and musically. She continues to attract a loyal following of volunteers to serve the purposes of the choirs, and I count myself lucky to be one of them,” Dressen said.

Shepley said working with young people is tremendously gratifying.

“As the kids gain more and more experience, seeing their transformation musically — and especially in confidence, poise, and expression — is astounding. Hearing them come together to do something they can’t do alone is incredible,” she said. “And, for these kids who are all involved in myriad activities and carrying a challenging class load, singing together is both calming and exhilarating; it soothes the nerves and elevates the spirit.”

The NYC winter concert, “Sing for Joy,” will be presented at 3 p.m. on Dec. 13 at Carleton College’s Skinner Chapel and is open to the public.

Photo: Liz Shepley, center, with HCI board member Jane Ludwig and members of the NYC Concert Choir. Photo by Mike Paulsen.


The Healthy Community Initiative and the Northfield News present the Making a Difference Award cooperatively. If you know an individual or group that you would like to nominate for this award, CLICK HERE for nomination guidelines and the easy-to-complete application or find HCI on Facebook.  Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and are selected by a review team of HCI board members and local youth.

Categories: Organizations

Breakfast with Santa

St. Dominic - Church News - Mon, 12/08/2014 - 9:20am

Saturday, December 13th, Bethel Lutheran Church.  Kids can visit with Santa and his elves, make holiday ornaments and crafts, play reindeer games, write and mail letters to Santa, get their face painted and listen to wonderful holiday music performed by local children.  Breakfast includes buttermilk pancakes topped with wild blueberries, sausage, fresh fruit, a sweet surprise , orange juice and coffee.

Reservations are available for the 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. seating.  Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for kids 4-12 and children under 3 eat FREE.  You may e-mail Amy at:  or call 507-645-1331 to make your reservations.  Funds raised will benefit the student scholarship funds of Little Lambs Preschool, Northfield Nursery School, Open Door Preschool and the Preschool of St. Dominic.

Categories: Organizations

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Northfield Arts Town - Thu, 12/04/2014 - 7:18pm

On December 17, 1912, a Christmas program was offered to a large gathering of family and friends in Hoyme Memorial Chapel shortly before St. Olaf College closed for the holidays. The brief Tuesday evening program included a speech by the Reverend R. M. Fjeldstad and special music by tenor Sigurd Erdtman, violinist Adolph Olsen, pianist Eulalie Chenevert, and the Delta Chi Quartet. Their first three songs were sung in Norwegian.

What began so long ago as the “St. Olaf College Christmas Program” evolved into a “Commemoration of Christmas” and, by the 1940s, became the “Christmas Festival at St. Olaf.” Over 100 years after the first concert in Hoyme Chapel, the Christmas Festival has become a treasured holiday tradition.

Today, under the artistic direction of St. Olaf Choir Conductor Anton Armstrong ’78, five choral ensembles and the St. Olaf Orchestra — a total of nearly 600 student musicians —perform four concerts that offer a rich repertoire of classic Advent and Christmas compositions along with familiar carols and hymns from around the world.

Buntrock Commons, traditionally decorated for the Christmas holidays, is a hub of preconcert activity, from the Merry Tuba Christmas Players in the atrium and book signings in the St. Olaf Bookstore to the bountiful Scandinavian buffet in the Black and Gold Ballroom that offers lutefisk and lefse, meatballs, rommegrot, fruit soup, rosettes, and riskrem.

For the complete history of the St. Olaf Christmas Festival and concert details, please visit the St. Olaf website.

Performance Dates
  • Thursday, December 4, 7:30 p.m. CST
  • Friday, December 5, 7:30 p.m. CST
  • Saturday, December 6, 7:30 p.m. CST
  • Sunday, December 7, 3 p.m. CST
Categories: Organizations

Youth Mission Trip Informational Meeting

St. Dominic - Church News - Thu, 12/04/2014 - 4:08pm

An informational meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 8 at 7:00 pm in the church basement regarding our high school mission trip to the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona.  The trip is open to grades 8-12 and is scheduled for June 19-28, 2015.  The meeting is for both parents and youth.  For more information, please contact Rick Nelson at 645-8141.

Categories: Organizations

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