Who are the best spellers in Northfield?

Mark your calendars now!

The Friends of the Northfield Public Library, along with the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation and the Grand Event Center, will be hosting a Spelling Bee fundraiser for Booker, the Northfield Public Library Book Bus. 

The current Booker Bus needs to be replaced and the Friends have found a good, used bus to replace it.  The Spelling Bee will be held on Thurs., Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Grand.  Companies, businesses or individuals can enter teams of three adults.  There are various levels of sponsorship. 

Check the Friends' website at www.northfieldlibraryfriends.org for entry forms or stop by the library.  For more information call the library at 645-6606.

Kathy Ness is a children's librarian at the Northfield Public Library. 

Weekend Entertainment and Events

I know you have your sights set on the big DJJD weekend, but there is a lot going on THIS weekend, so take it in.

Rice County Steam & Gas Engines, Inc., located at Hwy. 3 South in Dundas, is having their Annual Labor Day Event Friday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 3 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day.

Activities include a tractor pull and parade, flea market, music and exhibits. For more information visit www.ricecountysteamandgas.com

Also this weekend in Dundas is Dundas Detour Days. Stop by on Saturday or Sunday for all the events. The Tavern has two great bands in town, Ian Alexy on Friday night and Bear on Saturday night.

Pick up your September Guide at fine places all over town, or download it here by clicking on the guide above and plan out your month!  Lora Steil works for By All Means Graphics, which publishes the Entertainment Guide.

Northfield in the News

The Sunday edition of the New York Times featured a piece in their Real Estate section titled, Why Some Towns Place Roadblocks on Cul-de-Sacs. The "Some Town" highlighted is Northfield, with quotes about the controversy provided by city planner Dan Olson and planning commissioner Tracy Davis. The article contrasts Northfield's stance with our near neighbor, Eagan.

Check out the story.

If you have trouble viewing the story from this link, Tracy Davis' blog also provides a PDF download.

St. Olaf Wind Turbine: Weblog and Photo Gallery

Northfield.org user Pat Kelley sent us this note about the new St. Olaf wind turbine weblog that he's created (check out the great panoramic photos!):

The St. Olaf wind turbine construction documentation now has its own blog, separate from the St. Olaf construction blog, at http://stolafturbine.blogspot.com.

I'll continue to update the construction blog when I shoot new panoramas and whatnot around the new science center complex site.

And user Tim Freeland sent us a batch of photos of the wind turbine construction, along with this note:

Trap Shooting 101 with the Cannon River Sportsmen's Club

Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division and the Cannon River Sportsmen’s Club are sponsoring a trap-shooting outing this Saturday, September 2, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Phillippo Boy Scout Camp.

This event is for anyone age 12 and older, including adults. The event will feature trap-shooting skills with plenty of opportunity to experience the thrill of shooting clay targets. A parent or guardian must accompany youth. The Cannon River Sportsmen’s Club furnishes all equipment and lunch.

More information inside...

After the storm: what now?

It's good to see that more people are following Police Chief Gary Smith's lead and posting information and advice following last Thursday’s incredible hailstorm. The following posts can all be found in one handy location: the Northfield.org Blogosphere.

David Bly has a wealth of information about making insurance claims for your home and property in a resource page full of storm damage info.

Northfield Construction Company posted a list of considerations regarding storm repair to your home.

And Bruce Anderson has a story about “making lemonade from hail-damaged lemons” (also known as replacing that totaled gas guzzler with a much more efficient vehicle) in the RENew Northfield blog.

If you’ve got anything you want to share, add a comment to this story, or email it to us and we’ll do our best to pass it along.

Northfield.org statistics - we hit a record!

This was a record month for Northfield.org, mostly due to the August 24th hail storm.  The following stats are based on data collected from July 27, to August 27.

Visits (a record!):

During the one-month timeframe, Northfield.org served up 54,000+ pages (about 10,000 more than last month). During the month, there were 22,000+ site visits,  and 10,000+ of those being unique visitors browsing Northfield.org  So the hail storm news indeed attracted new visitors. On the day of the storm, Northfield.org peaked at around 4000 site visits with a total of 9600+ page views!  Per day, the average number of visits during the month was a tad over 514 visits.  Click the graphs below to display larger versions. Look close, and you'll see the huge traffic spike on the 24th/25th...

Summary Stats-1

Well, there's the stats for the (record) month. We'll continue to post them every month for your viewing pleasure.

Minnesota Thunder vs. Latino Select Game to play tonight

According to the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Thunder web site, the Minnesota Thunder vs. Latino Select soccer game has been rescheduled for tonight (Monday, 28 August 2006), 6:45 p.m., Spring Creek Park Field #6 (510 East Jefferson Parkway). The game was originally scheduled for last Friday night.

All tickets that were purchased for the original date of August 25 are good for Monday's game.

The Thunder will be playing Latino Select, an all-star team composed of players from leagues in Faribault, Farmington and Northfield. All exhibition tickets are $10. For more information, see the Minnesota Thunder News Article or call 651.917.TEAM.

Northfield Tennis to host meeting Tuesday

Submitted by Zach Pruitt

Northfield community members of all ages who enjoy playing tennis are invited to attend a community meeting on Tuesday, August 29, 2006.  The gathering will be held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in room SS106 of the Northfield Community Resource Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway).

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss current tennis opportunities in Northfield, as well as what community members would like to see in the future and what opportunities exist for collaboration.  The meeting is open to those of all ages and tennis ability levels.

Refreshments will be served.  RSVPs are appreciated.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Eric Lundin (663-7705, lundin@rconnect.com) or Zach Pruitt (612-578-5984, zpruitt@carleton.edu).

Zach Pruitt is a coordinator of the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative.

The Three Big Questions

Vintage Band Music FestivalHere are the three recurring questions people are asking me, following the Vintage Band Music Festival:

1.“How do you think it went?” People are extremely positive in their responses to me, but they also want to know my opinion. In spite of hot weather, the festival was a success beyond my hopes. I measure it not only by the audience response, but also by the satisfaction of the visiting musicians. They were enchanted by Northfield and charmed by its citizens.  They all want to come back. Our audiences came from surprisingly long distances just to be here. My original wish was to see if Northfield could put on a major cultural festival--and the result has been thoroughly satisfying.

2.“How did the money part work out?” The budget for the entire festival will be about  $37,000. More than 2/3 of this went to transportation, housing, and food for the bands. The rest was advertising, publishing, and administration. At present we are within a couple thousand of meeting our budget, but just slightly short. These funds have all been donations and local grants! Those of you Festival enthusiasts who haven’t yet sent in a contribution can now make the difference. Checks should be made out to “Vintage Band Festival:” and sent to the Northfield Arts Guild, 304 Division St., Northfield, MN, 55057.  All committee members, including me, have been unpaid volunteers. "Oh yes, I was going to do that.” So, do it!  I trust that it will come out just fine.

Canines At Play Hosts Northfield Community Dog Walks

Canines at Play (CAP), an all-volunteer organization dedicated to bringing a free off-leash dog park to Northfield, hosted the first of several community dog walks last Sunday. 

More than 20 canines and their companions showed up at Bridge Square to help raise money and awareness for the dog park. They took a leisurely stroll from Bridge Square to Babcock Park and back again, with several stops along the way to play in the grass or rest in the shade.

It was a great opportunity for the humans to meet other dog lovers in the community. But it was an even greater opportunity for the dogs to meet members of their future K-9 play group once the park is approved by the Northfield City Council and constructed by CAP volunteers and financial donors.

CAP will be hosting another community dog walk on Sunday, August 27, at noon in Bridge Square.  Grab your dog and leash, some water—and of course a couple of baggies for those necessary cleanups—and join us!

Telecommunications Disrupted

Editor's note: Service was finally restored at 7:45 p.m., after seven hours! Thanks to all the commenters for the great information and updates! You can see photos of the fiber that was cut in this photo set courtesy of Craig Dunton.

Northfield is experiencing a major telecommunications outage right now. Midwest Wireless, T-Mobile, Qwest (and Qwest DSL), and others are down. Cable internet service appears to be unaffected. Check out the comments attached to this story for more information.

Sharing photos, stories and videos

Editor's note: Want to learn more about Northfield.org? Want to meet other photographers, talk about writing, suggest topics for future contests and projects? (Ok, we were going to announce it later, but we'll be doing this kind of group effort for football games and other events this fall.) Send a note—and any ideas you have—and we'll set up a very social get-together ASAP.

First of all, thanks to everyone who is sharing stories, photos and videos about the storms—and about everything that is going on in your lives. We had more than 1,500 visitors to the site (and over 4,300 views of the storm photo gallery!) on Thursday, a record for single-day number of visits.

That's what Northfield.org is all about: bringing people together. 

As you've demonstrated, it's easy to send things to us. We'll just give you a few tips here.

Hailstorm aftermath: be careful!

It goes without saying that everyone should be careful when cleaning up their homes, yards and vehicles following yesterday's storm. But it's just as important to exercise caution when having repairs made by others.

I managed to get a call back from my insurance agent this morning and learned a few important details. His advice was: Do not have any repairs made to your home or car until a representative from your insurance company has assessed the damage. If you can't get through to your particular agent, call the parent company and ask them how to proceed.

There have already been reports of local citizens being taken advantage of by unethical "storm chaser" scammers, and Police Chief Gary Smith has a great blog post up about using caution when hiring repair contractors.

Hot rods as art? Head to ArtOrg and see

Most of the news about our cars this week has been bad, but if you want a break head to  Lowbrow-High Octane, a decidedly different art exhibit by local artist Nick Sinclair.

The show opens with a reception from 6-10 p.m. tonight and runs through September 10 at ArtOrg Moving Walls Gallery on Division Street. There's even a cruise by MNHotrods.com. Nick's exuberant and colorful tributes to automobiles reminds us  why they are so much more than just transportation.

Nick and ArtOrg would like to thank the sponsors of "Lowbrow-High Octane": Hering Kustoms, The Art Store, Witt Brothers, NAPA-Northfield, Storm Chaser Street Machines, The Northfield Entertainment Guide, and Tiny's Hot Dogs.

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