Aggregation experimentation: Recent blog posts

We're about one month away from launching our new platform here on One of the new features will be the ability to aggregate the weblog posts of local bloggers in a variety of ways.

For example, rather than just displaying the four most recent posts of each blogger as we do now, we'll be able to aggregate the most recent posts of a group of bloggers and lump them together, unidentified like this:

Hot air balloon landing

Dave and Donna Ricks and family from Northfield got a ride in a hot air balloon this afternoon from their Burnsville friends. They departed from the Carleton Rec Center and I took photos and some video of their landing near the high school at around 4 pm. Click the photos above to enlarge and see over twenty more in the hot air balloon landing photo album.

Click the play button on the two 20 second video clips. The left clip is slightly distorted because I had to rotate it. The balloon is not as squashed as it appears. The right clip shows them demonstrating how to jump-start a balloon if the battery goes dead.

Scenes from the NCO retreat

Left: Blake Abdella, Director of Strategic Planning for Andersen Corporation, led the NCO Board retreat (center) last night in the lower level conference room of the Archer House. Right: We paid a visit to the Contented Cow afterwards (L to R): me, Rob Brown, Jonathan Jaranson, Doug Bratland, Blake, Bruce Morlan. Photo by Rick Estenson. Not visible: Jan Allister, Alex Beeby, Ellen Iverson. We'll be back on task at 8 am today.

NCO Board retreat

NCO's Board of Directors is having its first board retreat this weekend... tonight for 3 hours and tomorrow morning through the afternoon. We're meeting in the lower level conference room of the Archer House. The retreat is being facilitated by Blake Abdella, longtime Northfielder and a strategic planner for Andersen Corporation. NCO Board members (click the thumbnails to enlarge):

Jan Allister, Alex Beeby, Doug Bratland, Rob Brown, Rick Estenson

Adam Gurno, Ellen Iverson, Jonathan Jaranson, Bruce Morlan

Weekend entertainment


There's lots happening this weekend in the Northfield area.


  • The Dittman Center at St. Olaf
  • The Goodsell Observatory at Carleton
  • Hogan Brothers
  • The Tavern (2 events)
  • The Grand
  • The Contented Cow (3 events)
  • Brad's Corner Bar
  • St. John's Lutheran Church

See pages 4-5 of the current issue of the NEG, the Northfield Entertainment Guide (PDF).

Q-Block and one vs. two-story structures

Last Saturday, my wife Robbie and drove through Hastings and I noticed the new Schoolhouse Square development on Hwy. 61 in the center of town. Click photos to enlarge.

The feasibility of this type of development was a discussion item at last month's EDA forum on the Q-Block development. The consultant expressed doubts that the market would support a two-story structure like this on the Q-Block site. Thus, the PDFs of the short-, mid-, and long-term Preferred Development Alternative sketches for the Q-Block available on the EDA Q-Block Master Plan page show a one-plus story building there ("commercial infill" in red).

Join the ISSUES list to discuss these and other aspects of the Q-Block development.

Library director barricades herself in office

Northfield Public Library Director Lynne Young (left) barricaded herself in her office yesterday, refusing to come out until the old carpet (left center) was removed and new carpet (right center) installed. Children's Programming Librarian Kathy Ness (right, with Lynne at a Booker event last summer) submitted these photos. Click to enlarge.

Northfield Public Library Partially Closed for Renovation - Jan 5th - 13th

NPL Carpet Press ReleaseThe Northfield Public Library will be receiving new carpeting starting on January 5th. Certain areas of the library will be closed to public traffic during this time. The Children's Area, circulation desk, and meeting room will be open as normal - most everything else will be closed.

You may read more information in the attached press release from the library.

It's also worth noting that the library does an excellent job of announcing events via the Northfield Events feed. This feed is syndicated by on the top-right hand corner of the front page. You may also subscribe to it via RSS or iCal, the latter will allow Upcoming events to appear automagically on your personal calendar program. It's quite nifty and worth checking out.

NDDC Forum: Mayor Lee Lansing

Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing spoke to the NDDC Downtown Forum yesterday morning. (Click photos to enlarge.)

Here's an audio of his presentation and the Q&A. Click the play button to listen. Subscribe to the feed. Subscribe with iTunes. Time: approximately 50 minutes.

For more on the Mayor's presentation, see Ross Currier's blog post titled Mayor Presents Vision for 2006.

January sponsor: First National Bank of Northfield

fnbnorthfieldwebsitehome300w.gifThe First National Bank of Northfield is our main sponsor this month.

They have completely redesigned their web site.

Northfield Entertainment Guide: January 06 issue

NEGjan06coverthumb.gifThe new issue of the Northfield Entertainment Guide (NEG) is available free throughout the Northfield area and here via PDF.

Click image to view within your browser or right-click on the image to "Save link/target as..." and then download it and view/print from your PC.

NDDC downtown forum: Q&A with Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing

The NDDC's Downtown Forum hosts Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing (shown at the Governors Ball; click to enlarge) for a question-and-answer session on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 8 a.m. at the Archer House's lower-level conference room.

See the calendar entry of the event for more.

Carlson Capital Management & the Sesquicentennial Governors Ball

Carlson Capital Management was the main sponsor for the Sesquicentennial Governors Ball. Their Northfield-based staff who attended, L to R (click photos to enlarge):

Senior Planner Bo Aylin and wife Mari; Chief Investment Officer Jonathan Jaranson and wife Allison; Senior Planner and Tax Advisor Kristy Schaffer and husband Shawn; Client Servicing Representative Kelly Dillon and fiance Pete Roehl; Client Relations Manager Sandy Rowan and son Brent; Investment Operations Manager Tim Jackson and wife Tanya.

Principal Justin Stets and wife Kristen, co-chair of the Governors Ball; Principal Greg Carslon and wife Nancy. (Someone evidently forgot to tell them to dress up.)

T-Mobile coming to downtown's west side

T-Mobile has a sign in the window in the space adjacent to the entrance of Froggy Bottoms River Pub on Water Street. Click to enlarge.

Building for Creative Professionals proposed

View of a concept for the Building for Creative Professionals and its proposed location. Click to enlarge. For details on the development, see NDDC director Ross Currier's blog post titled Historic Middle School Moved Across the River.

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