Maltby Receives EPA Grant for Cannon River Education

The Science Center at Maltby Nature Preserve, located between Northfield and Cannon Falls, Minn., has received a $6,285 educational grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help connect local communities to the Cannon River. The grant was one of just two EPA education grants awarded in the region for the 2005-06 school year.

"With education and awareness we hope more people will embrace the beauty of the river and make efforts to restore its health," says The Science Center's Executive Director Jeff Maltby. The Cannon River has been named a Minnesota Wild and Scenic River because of its beauty and the rare species that depend on the waterway. The Cannon River has also been designated an impaired waterway by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to give concert at Carleton

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), directed by conductor and pianist Stephen Prutsman, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Carleton College Skinner Memorial Chapel. The event is free with a Carleton or St. Olaf College I.D.

Public admission will be $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and non-Carleton/St. Olaf students. Tickets are available only at the door on the night of the performance.

The concert will feature Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor, Milhaud’s “The Creation of the World,” Prutsman’s “Jazz Fantasy on the theme B-A-C-H,” and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. The program explores jazz, both in its modern form and in its less-acknowledged historical roots. Mozart left many of his piano manuscripts intentionally sketched with few “reminders” to encourage improvisation. The other composers featured in the concert each sought with their pieces to play with jazz in new ways.

Still time to catch 'Enemy of the People'

Sure, there’s a lot going on this weekend. But you might want to make time to catch the end of the run of “An Enemy of the People,” the Henrik Ibsen classic wrapping up its run at the Northfield Arts Guild Theater.

I’m no theater critic, but this was a great cast relishing a great story – and one that seems “ripped from the headlines” despite its roots in 19th century Norway.

The play focuses on the efforts of a doctor to alert the community to a pollution crisis and the opposition he faces from politicians and the press, even his own brother.

As usual, one of the most enjoyable aspects of community theater is seeing friends and neighbors in a new light. Gabe Angieri, Ann Etter and Joseph Crippen (shown) handled the lead roles with ease. But there was another casting that added a little more bite to the political flavor of the play.

Rob Schanilec plays the printer who publishes the local newspaper, a man caught between the reporters who want to tell of the pollution and the political powers who point out the economic disaster the city faces should the news get out.

Dutch art professor to speak at Carleton Tuesday

Mariët Westermann, director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, will present a talk titled “Silence and Noise in Dutch Paintings About Manners” at 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 10 in Carleton College’s Boliou Hall, room 104. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture discusses the modern understanding of painting as a silent, contemplative form, drawing evidence from scenes of everyday life depicted by Vermeer, Steen and their contemporaries. Westermann is a specialist in northern European Renaissance and Baroque art, especially that of her native country, the Netherlands.

Before being appointed NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts director in 2002, she was associate director of research and academic programs at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. Her professional background includes significant experience as a curator, working with the National Gallery, the Newark Museum, the Denver Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Westermann is a member of American Association of Netherlandic Studies and is on the board of the Historians of Netherlandish Art. She is the author of numerous articles and books on 17th century Dutch art, including “Rembrandt: A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic 1585-1718” (Yale University Press, 2005), “Rembrandt: Art and Ideas” (Phaidon Press, 2000) and “The Amusements of Jan Steen: Comic Painting in the Seventeenth Century” (Zwolle, the Netherlands: Waanders, 1997).

Touring Northfield with a bike and pedestrian expert

This week, I was fortunate to join Steve Clark, the Walking and Bicycling Program Manager at Transit for Livable Communities, during his day-long visit to Northfield to share his professional expertise.

Bruce Anderson, the executive director of RENew Northfield, and I met Steve downtown. He had traveled from St. Paul on his motorcycle, and when we met him he had already seen some of our city. We sat down for a brief talk, looking at some maps and discussing some of the issues facing nonmotorized transportation in the Northfield area. We then got on our bikes and toured part of town. Charley Skinner had loaned us his dual recumbent bicycle for the tour, so Bruce and Steve were able to sit side by side and talk.

Parent Communication Network launches membership drive

The Parent Communication Network (PCN) is leading a major membership recruitment campaign.  Joining is easy – there are no meetings and no dues! 

To join PCN, visit its website at


More than 350 local parents have already signed on, saying they agree to:

  • Set good limits for their children regarding curfew, dating patterns, overnights, etc.
  • Work to create an atmosphere where the use of alcohol and drugs is NOT considered an "acceptable" or "normal" part of growing up.
  • Assure that youth events they host will be chaperoned and free of alcohol and drugs.
  • Talk directly with other parents to ensure that events they are hosting will be chaperoned and free of alcohol and drugs.
  • Communicate a clear "no use" message about underage use of alcohol or any use of illegal substances.
  • Be a good role model for our children to help them learn about healthy, responsible behavior. 

The PCN campaign has been endorsed by the Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use and the Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, which are both assisting with publicity for the campaign.

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

New Chess Club for 4th and 5th graders!

Annoucing a new chess club for 4th and 5th graders! Co-sponsored by the Carleton College Volunteers and the Northfield Public Library.

The club will meet on Wednesdays starting October 25 after school from 4 to 5 in the library's meeting room. You can learn chess or improve your skills.  We will meet every Wednesday even through Carleton’s break, but if there is no school there is no Chess Club.

Joining is free. But space is limited! Sign up via email: or, or call the library at 645-6606.

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

Um Ya Ya! Oles sure can throw a party!

Note to Garrison Keillor: English majors really can find jobs after college.

Just ask David R. Anderson, who parlayed a 1974 vintage Ole English degree -- and years of academic accomplishment -- into a celebration Friday of his inauguration as the 11th president of St. Olaf College.

And a note to anyone who thinks official college events are boring: Not in Northfield. I was lucky enough to be invited for the dinner and speeches and I can tell you that Anderson and his friend and counterpart, President Robert A. Oden, Jr., of Carleton College, may have a future moonlighting in comedy clubs. The two led a list of speakers who kept the remarks short and snappy, yet warm and gracious. The speeches alternated with the sophisticated sounds of the St. Olaf Band and St. Olaf Choir.

The running joke through the event was about Anderson and his two college roommates, also named David Anderson, and the ensuing confusion as faculty -- and just about everyone else on campus -- tried to keep them straight. Both of those Andersons, along with the president's relatives and dozens of unrelated Andersons joined hundreds of students, faculty, locals and visiting dignitaries, packing the campus to celebrate both the inauguration and Homecoming, which continues with a host of activities all weekend. You can go to St. Olaf Homecoming to find the schedule, which includes plays, concerts, a football match between two undefeated teams, an International Bazaar and several lectures. The site also carries all kinds of information about Anderson and his career.

Cannon River Community Land Trust joins the blogosphere

The Cannon River Community Land Trust has a new website and weblog, with Joel West, board chair, as the blogger. Not too long ago, Joel had positions as the assistant city administrator and the community development director for the City of Northfield.

The Land Trust's RSS feed has now been added to the aggregator. You can also subscribe to the CRCLT weblog via email.

Perspectives on Our Expanding Community

Discussion of the needs of recent immigrants in the Northfield community that began in a Sept. 11 meeting will continue when an even broader representation of the community gathers on Monday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Fireside Room at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Perspectives from Gretchen van der Linden in her report to the Senior Center, from Jim Blaha, Bob Kell and others at the Community Action Center, from Marj Evans-de-Carpio at the Northfield Welcome Center and other citizens will serve as a basis for discussion by the assembled group.

All interested members of the Northfield community are invited to attend.

If you have questions, please call Barbara Wilson (645-6747) or Judith Stoutland (645-7842).

Judith Stoutland is the Convener of the St. John’s Peace and Justice Group.
(Photo by Joey Robison, from an earlier story.)

Weekend Entertainment and Events

From Homecoming to Halloween stories, there are so many events going on this weekend that you're going to need a schedule and a stopwatch to see it all.

The big events are at St. Olaf College, where the traditional Homecoming celebration is doubling this year as the inaugural celebration for president David R. Anderson. There are concerts and exhibits and dinner and lectures and, of course, football.

Carleton College hosts an eclectic mix of events, including a combined Ramadan/Shabbut service and dinner Friday night, an open house at the Goodsell Observatory, and a collection of one-act plays running all weekend in "Hit N Run Theater."  The weekend wraps up with the Blue Drifters performing a bluegrass concert Sunday.

The Northfield Historical Society will put you in a Halloween mood with spooky stories told in a cemetery.

As always, there's live music at the clubs, and there are church suppers and parties and orchards full of apples beckoning.

And we can't close without noting that the Entertainment Guide's own publisher, Rob Schanilec, will be in the cast for the second and final weekend run of Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People" at the Northfield Arts Guild Theater. 

Get in the spirit with 'Under the Full Moon Cemetery Stories'

The Northfield Historical Society is proud to present Under the Full Moon, Cemetery Stories. This family fun event will start at 6:30 p.m. this Saturday, October 7th at Oaklawn Cemetery.

Tours will be at 6:30, 6:50, 7:10 and 7:30. Come and listen to stories from Anna Mohn, George Huntington, Henry Wheeler and many more.

If you would like to reserve your spot, call the Northfield Historical Society today at 645-9268. See you this Saturday!

Hayes Scriven is the interim executive director of the Northfield Historical Society.

Northfield to host state mentoring conference

Nationally recognized youth mentoring author and researcher to visit Northfield 

Dr. David DuBois, one of the country’s leading authors and researchers in the mentoring field, will address more than 100 youth mentoring professionals during the seventh annual Statewide Mentoring Conference in Northfield. 

Dr. DuBois will share valuable research and recommendations for sustaining the mentoring movement through practice and evaluation at the Carleton College Sayles-Hill Campus Center on Monday, October 16.

Blue Drifters to bring bluegrass to Carleton Sunday

The Blue Drifters quartet will give a guest artist concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 8 in the Carleton College Concert Hall. The concert will feature a selection of bluegrass, country and original music by the quartet. The performance is free and open to the public.

The Blue Drifters bring much variety to their music, including swing jazz arrangements, Irish, rock, pop and vintage country songs performed in a bluegrass style. They recreate the work of such bluegrass luminaries as Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe.

The quartet was founded in 1990 by guitarist and frequent lead singer Steve Howard. It also includes Jeff Brueske, a bass instructor at Bethel College; fiddler Gary Schulte, a veteran of “The Prairie Home Companion” radio show; and Phil Nusbaum, who plays banjo in the band Urban Renewal.

For more information and disability accommodations, call the Carleton music department at (507) 646-4347.

St. Olaf inauguration to head Homecoming celebration

In addition to the inauguration of David R. Anderson '74 as the 11th president of St. Olaf College, this year's St. Olaf Homecoming offers several activities that are open to the public, including plays, concerts, a football match between two undefeated teams, an International Bazaar and several lectures.

St. Olaf will inaugurate Anderson Friday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Skoglund Center Auditorium. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The ceremony, "Honor the Past, Celebrate Today, Embrace the Future," will include music and pageantry as the college celebrates the beginning of a new chapter in its history.

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