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Local Issue: Transit Hub


On December 4, 2012, the Northfield City Council approved a recommendation to locate a proposed local transit hub on the Q-Block, on the southwest corner of Second Street and Highway 3. This is an important step forward in a project that began in 2001, with the completion of a Rice County local and regional transit study that identified a need for a transit hub in Northfield. The proposed transit hub is envisioned as the central element of a redevelopment of the Q-Block which would also include the relocated and renovated Northfield depot.  For those interested in learning more about this issue, here is a timeline and a compilation of documents and links related to the transit hub project.

100% Local - Yes, United Way

When you donate to charity, you like to know where your money goes.

You’ll like this: When you give to Northfield Area United Way, your money stays here. It helps fund 28+ programs in the Northfield area – all of them local services, helping people here at home.

Together, we feed our neighbors, help with housing, guide at-risk kids. We fund healthcare for the uninsured. We come through for victims of fire, flood, and domestic violence when they need help the most.    

Local Issue: iPads in the Schools


Update: On February 10, 2013, the Northfield school board voted 6-1 to approve the Transformational Technology Proposal. News coverage of the school board meeting is archived below.

On January 28, 2013, the Northfield school board received a proposal to provide students in the school district with tablet computers (iPads) beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. Teachers were issued iPads over the summer, and have been receiving training in the use of the devices since August. Task forces have also been meeting to discuss the use of the new technology, policy development, criteria for the selection of apps, and other issues related to the implementation of the iPad proposal. The iPads will be leased for three years (2013-2015) at a cost of roughly $336,000 per year. The district plans to budget another $173,000 a year for apps, digital textbooks, and other support. Students will be charged a $25 insurance fee ($20 for reduced price lunch students, $15 for free lunch students; $100 family maximum). Students in grades 6-12 will each receive an iPad2 to take home; students in elementary grades will have iPad Minis in their classrooms.

Michael Perry Reading Wednesday, August 29th

Monkey See Monkey Read is pleased to bring Michael Perry back to Northfield for a reading from his latest book, Visiting Tom: A Man, A Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace. Perry will read from Visiting Tom on August 29th at 7:30 pm. The reading will be at the Northfield Senior Center, 1651Jefferson Parkway.

Tom Hartwig is at it again.

What can we learn about life, love and artillery from an 82-year-old man whose favorite hobby is firing his homemade cannons? Visit by visit – often with his young daughters in tow – author Michael Perry is about to find out.

2012 Sidewalk Poetry Celebration and Quiz


The Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield announces the 2012 Sidewalk Poetry Celebration to begin at 7:00 p.m. on August 29, 2012. The event will bring poetry lovers and sidewalk poets together to tour the sites in Northfield’s downtown where poems are now installed and to hear the poems read aloud.

In 2011, Northfield launched the annual Sidewalk Public Poetry Project. Since then, in two competitions, 19 poems have been selected to become a permanent part of the Northfield landscape. Each one of the winning poems is remarkable on its own; collectively, they offer a sense of the spirit of our community. During the course of this summer, residents and visitors have begun seeing the poems installed, and it is now time to celebrate this concrete achievement in local public art.

Local Issue: Safety Center

On June 5, 2012, the City Council approved $7.28 million in lease revenue funding to finance the building of a new safety center.  The project includes purchase of land at 1601 Riverview Dr. (behind Perkins Restaurant), construction of a police facility and fire department administrative offices, and upgrades to the current fire facility. The fire equipment would remain in the current facility.  This marked an important (and contentious) milestone in a long process.

NEW (6/26/12): Statement from the City of Northfield regarding funding of the new safety center.

What's next: According to Northfield Finance Director Kathleen McBride, a plan will be developed in the next 4-6 weeks (by the end of July 2012), with purchase of the land in August or September.

Kickstarting a Career in Filmmaking: Sam Dunnewold and Kaitlin Randolph


Kaitlin Randolph was writing stories before she started kindergarten in northern Wisconsin. Sam Dunnewold started making films as a seventh grader at Northfield Middle School. Sam was also a member of the last class of Northfield eighth graders to go through their entire middle school career in the building which is now the Weitz Center for Creativity.

Both Kaitlin and Sam ended up at Carleton College, where they majored in Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS). Now the two young filmmakers are preparing to graduate from college and embark on the next stage of their careers: making their first feature-length film.

With several other partners, they’ve created a production company, Lucid Films LLC, and have created a Kickstarter account with the goal of raising at least $5,000 before June 24, 2012.

Hauck leads Bull Sharks


The Northfield Swim Club Bull Sharks swam hard last weekend while hosting a total of 17 teams at the middle school’s Skip Boyum Pool. While every swimmer had excellent races with improved stroke technique and speed, the race of the meet belonged to Marcus Hauck as he qualified to swim at the state meet in the 50 backstroke with a time of 38.10. He’s been on the verge of achieving state qualifying times in a few events for a few months and finally jumped into that level.

Other great swims belonged to Carrin Baker, who bravely volunteered to take on the 1000 yard freestyle minutes after swimming the 200 Butterfly for the first time. Both were excellent swims and she got out of the water smiling which speaks loudly for her character as a swimmer.

Local Issue: Skatepark

Discussions about a permanent skateboard park in Northfield began six years ago, in June 2006, when a group of local youth organized the Northfield Skateboard Coalition. The Coalition, spearheaded by Joe McGowan, pitched their idea to the Northfield Parks and Recreation Board, and began fundraising for a skatepark. Between October 2006 and April 2007, $10,000 was raised through a matching grant from the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.  In 2011, the Northfield Union of Youth acquired equipment for a skateboard park, which is currently being stored by the city.

Northfield Swim Club needs new Bull Sharks

Bull Sharks!

The Northfield Swim Club is looking for new sharks to join their team! The recent successes of the Northfield Swim Club includes a 5th place finish as a team at the state championships in March. We want to win! And, we need you to do it!

The Northfield Swim Club Bull Sharks will be hosting a clinic for beginner swimmers starting April 16. The clinic will run for two weeks and meet Monday-Friday from 6-7 pm. This clinic will introduce all four competitive strokes, touch and flip turns and diving off the side of the pool with a possibility of diving off the starting blocks. After the clinic, the swimmer and family has an opportunity to join for the full season. Half of the clinic fee will be applied to the membership fee for all those who join immediately following the clinic. Come join our team!

Go Outside and P L A _ ! (We all need the Y)


“Go outside and play!” our grandma ordered as we sat on the floor directly in front of the giant Zenith TV set on a Saturday morning watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. We were all under the age of 7. The year? 1970. Fast forward to 2012 and parents aren’t competing against just the giant Zenith anymore. Screen time for children appears in many more forms: the home computer, laptop, smart phones, PS3, Xbox, AND the plug-in drug known as television; and now even a screen is playing for passengers in the backseats of family vans.

Studies have shown that an average ten year old spends eight hours in front of a screen per day. While technology and other factors draw children indoors, conscious effort towards opening the door and stepping out is critical.

Three-Season Athlete Excels at a New Sport: Poetry Recitation


On February 11, Andrew Wilson faced a choice. As a member of the Northfield High School boys varsity swimming and diving team, he could compete in the Missota Conference finals in Northfield, or he could head about 50 miles south to Mantorville to compete in the regional round of the Poetry Out Loud competition. Wilson chose to recite poetry.

Actually, the choice had been made three weeks earlier, when Wilson became aware of the conflict and approached Coach Davis to request permission to attend the Poetry Out Loud semifinals. It’s an indication of his character that Wilson not only obtained his coach’s permission, but was later chosen as one of the captains of next year’s swim team.

It’s an exceptional student who has to make the kind of choice that Andrew Wilson made, but Wilson—an ARTech junior who is also a star of the Northfield cross country and track teams—takes it all in stride.

“I like sports that make you push yourself to be your individual best,” Wilson says. “Sports like swimming and running—and reciting poetry.”

Sidewalk Poetry Contest Announced

The Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield announces the 2012 Sidewalk Public Poetry competition to mark National Poetry Month in April. The competition is open from Thursday, March 1 to Saturday, March 31, 2012. Winners will be announced in April 2012.

This project is a partnership with the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library,and the Northfield Public Library, and the City of Northfield. This activity is funded by the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council through the arts and culture heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Take a minute to fill out this Carleton research survey and you might win something

Survey screenshot

Survey and Raffle!

Answer questions about diversity, immigration and what it means to be a citizen for the chance to win one of the two $50 Target gift certificates. Survey closes on at 5 PM on March 31, 2012. The survey takes between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.

This is not a political survey: we gather information only for academic purposes. The survey is anonymous. The information you provide for the raffle is kept separate from your answers and is not handled by those who conduct the survey.

To view the survey, click here: http://tinyurl.com/nfld2012

If you have any questions or need help with filling out the survey, please contact Anna Moltchanova by phone (507) 222 7163 or e-mail amoltcha@carleton.edu.

Holiday Ornament Hunt!

The Inaugural Winter Walk Holiday Hunt started at 6 a.m., Saturday morning, December 3!

If you love hunting for the horseshoe, you'll love hunting for the snowflake ornament, a new tradition starting this year courtesy of the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce and organized by Tim Freeland.  Click here to read more about it at KYMN Radio.

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