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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.

Fire destroys home before Thanksgiving

For information on how you can help the Haslett-Marroquin family, who lost their home to a fire on November 23, please click here.

HEY NORTHFIELD! We Need Your Votes!!


Laura Baker Services Association has been awarded a $1,000 grant as part of the 100 Ways of Giving Program sponsored by EMC Insurance Company in Iowa.  The local nominating Insurance Agency is Heartman Insurance.  Because of this nomination we NOW we have a chance to receive $25,000 more for our FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES program!

We’re competing against 99 other nonprofit organizations, nation wide, for a chance to receive $25,000. At the end of the 100-day voting period (July 1-Oct. 8), the four nonprofit organizations with the highest combined scores from the EMC Insurance Foundation and public votes will each receive a $25,000 grant.  We want to be one of those four, so help us out and vote!

Here is what we need from you...

Click on this link:


Citizens Redistricting Commission seeking community input

Draw the Line Minnesota Logo

Draw the Line Minnesota has announced the creation of a Minnesota Citizens Redistricting Commission that will be creating maps to share with Minnesota’s judicial redistricting panel. The Commission will be taking citizen input and testimony in locations across Minnesota during the month of August. Northfield is hosting the 2nd Congressional District’s hearing on Thursday, August 11, 2011, at 7 pm at the Northfield Senior Center (there will be a Spanish language interpreter present at the hearing). Citizens across the 2nd District are invited to participate as the 15-member multi-partisan and non-partisan group gathers input.

Buying Fresh Produce is a SNAP at Riverwalk Market Fair


For the second summer in a row, the Riverwalk Market Fair is providing easily-accessible fresh produce to low-income families and individuals in the Northfield area .

In the summer of 2010, Growing Up Healthy, a coalition of about a dozen organizations and agencies that share an overarching goal of improving community connectedness for marginalized families in Rice county, secured a grant from Rice county public health’s State Health Improvement Program (SHIP) to purchase two EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card reader machines—one for Northfield, and one for Faribault.

Participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) swipe a card at the machine, located in the central tent, to get tokens that they can exchange for produce at participating farm stands in the market. The machine also functions conveniently as an ATM. Non-SNAP participants can use debit cards to get different-colored tokens for a small fee. Farmers and food vendors trade the tokens back for reimbursement from the Riverwalk Market Fair.

According to Growing Up Healthy, the program was born from the specific knowledge that the farmer’s market offers fantastic produce, but that few low-income people take advantage of it. In Rice County alone, there are now 3,717 people on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—1,986 adults and 1,731 children—with numbers growing steadily. A similar long-running project nearby in Iowa has reduced the stigma associated with using paper coupons (formerly known as "food stamps") and dramatically increased sales each year for farmers.

Northfield Notebook: Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pizza on the grill

One of Northfield's worst-kept secrets is Pizza Night at Red Barn Farm. The Winter Family farm on the south edge of Northfield is an idyllic place, made even more special with the addition of a wood-fired pizza oven. On Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons in the summer months, Tammy and Patrick Winter and their two children fire up the oven and set about the herculean task of making pizzas for the crowds of people picnicking on the lawn. Depending on when you arrive and order your pizza, it can take a while: we waited almost two hours for our pizza the first time we visited. But the relaxed and convivial atmosphere make it a pleasant wait. Adults sit on blankets sipping glasses of wine (bring your own), children run around happily, and often a band plays up beyond the bonfire of used pizza boxes. It feels like a weekly Fourth of July celebration or a family reunion. And the pizza, when it finally comes, is amazing. After Griff Wigley went for the first time on Wednesday, June 8, he reported on LocallyGrown that 130 pizzas were made. His post includes a good set of photos from that evening.

For our family, Friday is the traditional pizza night. I make my own pizza dough, and usually cook the pizza in the oven on a special pizza stone. Last night, since the weather finally cooperated, I decided to fire up the Weber grill and try making my own backyard wood-fired pizza.

Northfield Notebook: Friday, June 24, 2011

Sawtooth Sunflower

One of the things I like about living in a town bookended by wind turbines is that it gives me a clearer sense of the direction of the wind. For most of the past week, the turbines have been facing into a resolute east wind, bringer of unsettled weather, clouds, and rain. But yesterday afternoon, as I walked through the Cowling Arboretum, I saw that the Carleton turbine had turned to face a north wind, and I was reassured that the forecast would deliver on its promise of clearing skies.

The wind turbines are one index of changes in the weather from day to day. The restored tallgrass prairie in the Arboretum, on the other hand, is an index of the steady progression of the seasons from spring to fall. Right now, one of the highlights of the prairie is the white wild indigo, spiking up above the prairie grasses. The characteristic yellow and orange flowers of the midsummer prairie—rudbeckia (black-eyed susan), compass plant, and various sunflowers (like the sawtooth sunflower pictured here)—have just started to bloom. Click here for a small photoset of some of the flowers blooming in the Arboretum right now.

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