'Beat the Heat' photo contest draws great response

Wow! We received a whopping 66 entries in our Beat the Heat photo contest, which ended Friday. Our judges promise to have a winner announced by Monday.

In the meantime, feel free to voice your opinions in the comments area at the end of this story.

We'd like to thank everyone who sent photos of everything from butterflies to balloons to beautiful children. They include Megan Mobley, Scott Anfinson, Julian Westerhout, Joan and Carl Behr, Amy Goerwitz, Tim Jackson, Mitch Patrikus, Amanda McBrady, David Perez, and our own board members, Doug Bratland and Adam Gurno.

You can click on the photo mosaic to see the entire gallery of photos. And while you're at it, you can check out the more than 4,000 photos in our Northfield.org galleries.

Be patient and we'll have a winner soon. The grand prize will be $25 worth of ice cream and lemonade for you and your friends—as long as you agree to send photos of the party. (Our board members aren't eligible for the prize, they just entered for fun.)

Parker begins 2,000-mile ride to help kids

You may remember that earlier this month we told you about a Northfield man, Scott Parker, who is riding a bike more than 2,000 miles to raise money for a foundation he started to aid children in Vietnam. You can see that story here.

We just received this message from his wife and thought we'd bring you up to speed. We'll bring more updates as we receive them, or you can check out Scott's blog link below.

Just a quick note to let you all know that Scott Parker, co-founder of Catalyst Foundation, is on his way! He started his 2000+ mile "bike ride" yesterday in Astoria, Oregon.

The blog is at http://bikingforhope.blogspot.com/. Feel free to post your messages along the way as he will get all your encouraging messages!

Thanks for your continued support!

More photos added to ArtSwirl gallery

ArtSwirl may be over, but we're still getting new pictures added to our gallery of photos from all the events in the successful festival earlier this month.

The newest entries are from the Mayors' bike tour, headed up by Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing and Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer. Together they led a tour of about seven miles, beginning at Central Park and travelling thoughout Northfield and Dundas. The trip highlighted public art in both cities as well as time to hear plans for the development of public art along the Mill Towns Trail bike path.

Thanks to everyone who contributed photos during this community event -- and to all of you who contribute photos and stories to help make this a true online community. To learn more, just check out the easy instructions for contributing stories and photos.

St. Olaf Construction Panoramas & Wind Turbine Pix

I've been documenting the changes to the southeast corner of campus this summer, satisfying my addiction to panoramic photography and time-based imagery in the process. "I've made a mini-website to follow the construction progress, click here to view it":http://www.stolaf.edu/people/kelleyp/scipanos/.

The site requires the flash plugin, which you likely already have hidden away in your web browser.

There are currently 3 panoramas for most of the sites (1-6), the first shot June 1, the second July 30, the third Aug. 12. I added a few sites on my second shoot that seemed to be good spots from which to observe the changes. The interface lets you view an aerial photo or site plan, or some cross-dissolve of both. Roll your cursor over the labels to see which panoramas are available, and click the dates to open the imagery. The 360-degree panoramas can be 'panned' by clicking and dragging within the image.

I've "recently started a blog":http://scipanos.blogspot.com/ to post when I add images, and I'm also using it to post images of the wind turbine as it goes up:

Movie night draws utterly awesome youth turnout

It was the perfect night for music, root beer floats, popcorn and watching a movie in a barn, for over 130 Northfield area youth. Sponsored by 5th Bridge, youth entering 9th-12th grade were invited to the farm of Rick and Kris Estenson to learn more about the Utter Joy campaign. The goal of the night was to have fun, to help strengthen the culture and habit of volunteerism in the Northfield area, and invite all to pledge 5 hours a month of volunteer time for the next year.

The evening included photo ops with the 5th Bridge mascot, a beautiful cow, a short inspirational talk by Dave Neuger on what volunteerism can be and the movie “It Could Happen to You.”

When asked why they came out, Amy Thorson and Jayna Tilstra said, “We think volunteering is a good thing for the community.” What kind of volunteer activities have they done in the past? “We’ve both volunteered at church, the food shelf, and in 9th grade civics class, we came up with the idea to volunteer at the Amnion Crisis Pregnancy Center, as part of our class project.”

Carleton ranked among best liberal arts colleges for 11th year

Carleton College placed sixth overall in U.S. News & World Report magazine’s annual rankings of the best national liberal arts colleges. The College also ranked first in alumni giving, a measure of alumni satisfaction with the school, for the fifth consecutive year.

“What we work on weekly, monthly, annually, and over the years here at Carleton is to offer an extraordinary education in the liberal arts,” said President Robert A. Oden Jr. “It is a richly deserved honor to the people who are Carleton when any national ranking recognizes the quality of education we offer here.”

This is the eleventh consecutive year that the magazine has ranked Carleton in the top 10; the College has five times been ranked among the nation’s top five liberal arts schools. The rankings take into account the academic reputation of the school, admissions selectivity, retention and graduation rates, class size, financial resources and alumni giving, among other factors. Carleton’s overall score was 91 on a scale of 100, and the College received a score of 4.4 on a 5.0 scale in peer assessment, which is an evaluation of the academic reputation of the school by presidents, provosts and admissions deans from similar colleges.

Community Youth Fair set for Wednesday

Don’t miss the Fourth Annual Community Youth Fairs on Wednesday, August 23, 2006!  Over 25 youth organizations and sports associations will be there!  Learn about all of the after school and weekend activities available for your child to participate in – sports teams, art classes, scouting groups, dance, gymnastics, etc.  Talk with representatives from these groups and sign up for the activities.  Spanish interpreters will be there and groups will have information about scholarship availability.

There will be games, balloons, and free prizes!  Hotdogs, chips & pop will be sold, with money raised going to a scholarship fund.

The Community Youth Fairs will be held on Wednesday, August 23 from:
•    5:30-6:30 p.m. at Greenvale Park Elementary, 700 Lincoln Parkway
•    7:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Bridgewater Elementary, 401 Jefferson Parkway

Saints Alive! Festival seeks quilts for show

quilt_showAll Saints Church is preparing for the second annual Saints Alive! Festival on September 9, the Saturday of The Defeat of Jesse James Days, at 5th and Washington St, one block from downtown Northfield.

The centerpiece of the festival will be a quilt show and antique toy display, featuring historic and modern quilts from the local community. And we're looking now for more quilts to display.

We had a great time last year, with a wide array of quilts decorating the already beautiful interior of Northfield's oldest church building, and hundreds of community members and visitors enjoying the display and the sandwiches and pie on the lawn.

Local Scandinavian folk group Nordic Jam will also be returning to share their collection of dance tunes with diners and passers-by.

Proceeds from the event will support the church's mission and community outreach. For further information, or if you have a quilt that you'd like to display in the show, contact the All Saints church office at 507-645-7417 or office@allsaintsnorthfield.org.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFWhat's going on this weekend?

Lots of good music and a book signing!

Thursday night Norwegian Cowboy visits the Tavern, or dance to Hip-Hop at the Rueb-N-Stein.

Friday, Northfield native and Carleton grad Lincoln Child will discuss his latest book, "The Book of the Dead," and sign copies. Child and his writing partner, Douglas Preston are co-authors of numerous best-selling mystery/thrillers. "The Book of the Dead" presents the ultimate showdown between good and evil ­ set against the backdrop of an ancient Egyptian curse. The event starts at 7 p.m. at RiverCity Books.

Also Friday night, listen to Twosome at Hogan Brothers, Hamlin/Pernecky Jazz Duo at the Contented Cow, Joe Meyer at the Tavern and Harmonic Voodoo at Dawn's Corner Bar. Saturday night stop by the Contented Cow and help Bonnie and the Clydes celebrate their 10th anniversary. Other music on Saturday includes Michael Gruber at the Tavern and another visit by Harmonic Voodoo at Dawn's Corner Bar.

Voting ends for 'America's Got Talent'

Hometown boy Jon Wee and his partner Owen Morse performed well Wednesday in the finals of NBC’s summer competition, “America’s Got Talent.”

Wee (left) and Morse, performing as The Passing Zone, included judge David Hasselhoff in their routine, which features a unique blend of juggling and comedy. Theirs was one of 10 acts ranging from violin-playing Celtic dancers to a child hopeful who mixes a healthy dose of yodeling into familiar country songs.

Voting ended last night. Now all that's left is the waiting. You can see the results in the season finale at 8 p.m. tonight on NBC.

If you saw last night's show, tell us what you thought below. If you know Jon Wee, add a good luck message if you wish.

Malt-O-Meal gets high marks in Consumer Reports

You may have seen a familiar brand name on the cover of the current Consumer Reports. The magazine doesn't tout the companies it features—it doesn't even allow advertising in its pages. So I had to track down some information from the folks over at our favorite cereal company.

They are a pretty modest bunch, but they put together a bit of info for us. Here's how they explained what's up:

The September issue of Consumer Reports features ratings and recommendations for ready-to-eat cereal, granola and cereal bars. The head-to-head comparisons of Frosted flakes, Toasted oats and Mini-wheats highlighted the expensive national brands, Northfield-based Malt-O-Meal and other store brands. The ratings were based on nutrition, taste, and cost per serving.

In each category, Malt-O-Meal was competitive in taste quality and nutrition, but boasted significant cost savings compared to name brand cereal from Kellogg’s and General Mills. Malt-O-Meal varieties were rated as “very good” in each flavor category.

NDDC Third Thursday showing "Downside UP"

Click to open PDFFor the NDDC's Third Thursday event on August 17, we're going back to the movies. We'll be featuring "Downside Up," a documentary film about Mass MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in North Adams, Massachusetts. (Click the image at left for a full-size PDF poster for the event.) Experiencing a decline due to changes in the world economy, this community decided to build their economic development future on a base of art. It wasn't quick or easy but the early indications are that it was a solid plan and has been successfully implemented.

The short film will be followed by a discussion of the Mass MOCA story, the NDDC's August Downtown Forum on ArtsPlan'06, and the Arts and Northfield's Economic future.  Third Thursday will be held at the Grand Event Center in downtown Northfield and begins at 7 pm.  There is no cover charge and there will be a cash bar available. Call 663-0319 with questions or visit www.nddc.org.  Please join us.

Dan Bergeson is President of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC).

"Dinner On Us" Membership Drawing

Week Seven Drawing:  James Gang Hideaway

We are proud to announce that our sixth "Dinner On Us" gift certificate is for $50 to the James Gang Hideaway.  By becoming a member of Northfield.org you will be entered into the Dinner On Us membership drawing.  The deadline for this week is midnight on August 20, with the winner being announced on Monday, August 21.

You don't have to contribute to enter, and if you don't win, your name will be forwarded to the next week's drawing. That means you'll have several chances to win.

To sign up now, just go to the New Member page. The suggested donation is $20 per year per person. Of course, if you'd like to suggest a higher number, we'd be thrilled and very grateful.

"The Early Years of Northfield" exhibit opens Thursday

Where can you find out how the Cannon River got its name? Where can you see a chair that sat in John and Ann North's house? Where can you get your picture taken next to a life-sized cut-out of John North?

Well, the answer is the Northfield Historical Society's grand opening of the new permanent exhibit entitled "The Early Years of Northfield." The grand opening will be held on Thursday, August 17 from 7-9 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society.

The exhibit chronicles the founding of Northfield from the early 1850's to the late 1880's! The event is free to NHS members and $2.00 for non-members. Refreshments will be served during the event.

Come on down and learn a little bit about this amazing town!

There's still time for summer photo fun

Sure. It's summer and you've been meaning to upload all those photos but you just haven't had time. We understand completely. Been there ourselves.

That's why we're going to extend our Beat the Heat photo contest a few more days. Now you have no excuses. Dig out your summer photos, or take a few, and send them to us by midnight Friday.  

The grand prize will be $25 worth of ice cream and lemonade for you and your friends—as long as you agree to send photos of the party. It's not a fortune, but on the other hand, you can have some fund with your friends and not get into too much trouble.

You can shoot people relaxing, beach scenes, kids eating drippy ice cream cones, nature scenes...we're pretty flexible around here. (As we've mentioned before swimsuit shots are allowed, but keep the topless photos for your personal albums.)

Anyone can enter, and you can send as many photos as you want. It's easy to enter:

1. Take photos.

2. Create an e-mail, attach photo.

3. Describe the photo, add your name.

4. Send to pictures@northfield.org.

That's it.

Deadline is midnight Friday, August 18. You can see all the current entries by clicking on the photo above.

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