City wins National Recycling Award

Click to enlargeThe next time you sort your recyclables and carry them to the local centers, give yourself a little round of applause. You are part of the reason the city of Northfield has won a national award from the American Forest and Paper Recycling Association.

Seattle won for the best big city program and little Northfield beat out the pack among cities under 100,000. This week city officials shared the honors with adults and kids from the Moravian Church Youth group and Project Sight, two of the Green Teams who worked on the citywide project. Pictured are Sam, Josephine and Addison Luhman with Mayor Lee Lansing, backed up by Randy Bongard and Brad Easterson. The children are part of the Moravian Church group.

HRA Considers Affordable Housing near Way Park

Way Park may get some new neighbors, and the city may get some needed affordable housing without sprawl, thanks to a plan the Housing and Redevelopment Authority is slated to present to the Northfield Hospital Board Wednesday.

Details haven't been released, but HRA officials are slated to begin discussion today on the possibility of taking ownership of three lots the hospital owns adjacent to Way Park. The park was recently expanded to include the site of the old hospital, which was razed after services were moved to its new site along North Avenue. The hospital retained ownership of three lots outside the park boundary.

Kaleidoscope: International Festival 2006

This story was submitted by Kilang Yanger (Carleton class of 2006), an international student from India.

æbleskiver!Smelling the potent Ghanaian spices of Accra, hearing the powerful strums of the Chinese pipa, watching Filipino dancers dexterously weave their feet around clashing bamboos, having the touch of cool Indian henna dye designs on your palms and last but not least, tasting mouth-watering Danish æbleskiver desserts are but a tiny preview of what happens at the International Festival.

The International Festival has been a very successful ongoing tradition at Carleton for many years. This year’s festival, entitled ‘Kaleidoscope,’ proved to be the same, if not better. It is a multifaceted event that incorporates not only food and entertainment from all over the world, but promotes exposure and learning of other cultures through various workshops set up to engage guests and students. This year’s event, the ninth annual festival, brought Chinese calligraphy booths and Japanese origami tables, along with entertainment such as a fire-knife dance from Samoa. The festival, more importantly, is an event to raise awareness and monetary support for charities. This year’s donations went to the Center for Children’s Happiness, a non-governmental organization that provides a home and education to Cambodian orphans.

All in all, it was truly a kaleidoscopic event one got to experience on a Saturday afternoon right here in Northfield.

River City Books launches weblog and podcast

River City Books has a new weblog called RCBlog authored primarily by some creature named River City Raven.

They also have a new podcast called River City Ruminations (that's a link to their Feedburner podcast feed, but you can also one-click subscribe via iTunes). First episode of the podcast features last Friday's appearance at the NAG by Lorna Landvik, part of the Northfield Reads! community-wide book club event.

(In the interest of full disclosure, they're a client of mine.)

Streetscape Plan is approved -- and available online

It's not quite summer reading, but policy wonks will be happy to know the new Downtown Streetscape Framework Plan is "available at the City Hall website": ( _PDF_ )

The City Council voted Monday to approve the plan, which includes reams of information about park bench styles, the color of street pavers and other civic fashion news. For those worried about light pollution, a separate study will be done this year to determine how to get a historic look with environmentally friendly lighting. More inside...

Calling All Photographers: Request For Images

The Economic Development Authority of the City of Northfield is looking for images to include in EDA marketing materials, including the soon-to-be-released Economic Development Plan. The EDA is specifically looking for photographs that are representative of Northfield, and would credit the photographer on the printed pieces.

If you have photos you would be willing to share, please contact Deanna Kuennen, Housing and Economic Development Manager. (Email; phone: 645-3069.)

Global Warming: Just Hot Air?

David S. Chapman, Carleton College Bernstein Geologist-in-Residence, will present a lecture titled “Global Warming: Just Hot Air?” on Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m. in the Carleton College Olin Hall of Science, room 149. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Chapman is recognized as one of the top solid-Earth geophysicists in the world measuring and interpreting heat and mass transfer in the geologic environment. Most recently Chapman developed methods to assess the amount of global warming since the time of the Industrial Revolution by measuring temperatures in drill holes.

Chapman will address the questions of What do we know? What do we not know? What can we do? What should we do? He notes that global trends suggest that allowing “business as usual” is a risky path. Chapman outlines what we know from weather station records and the questions still to be addressed in understanding our complex climate system.

Related links:
Event Description on Carleton's Geology Department Website
David Chapman's Homepage at the University of Utah

Ole baseball team wins MIAC, qualifies for NCAA Div III National tourney

!{float:left;margin:0 5px 5px 0;}! The 19th ranked St. Olaf baseball team won the MIAC tournament (held in Northfield and Dundas) yesterday, "defeating Hamline 3-2":

This qualifies the Oles for the "NCAA Division III National Baseball Championship":, with the first round being held Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

It's a visual feast this week on the 'Sphere - if your pics ain't rockin', we don't come knockin'. Pictures of Northfield, St. Paul, Beijing, and much, much more after the jump...

Northfield Rotary honors Charlie Cogan

Jan Stevens and Charlie CoganNice guys do finish first, and last week's Northfield Rotary Club meeting proved it. Jan Stevens presented fellow club member Charlie Cogan with the Marston Headley Service Above Self Award for outstanding service to the community, to international causes, and to the Northfield Rotary Club.

Stevens won the award last year and was thrilled to continue the tradition named for the late Marston Headley, a long-time member of Rotary who was one of Northfield’s most dedicated citizens. Cogan has logged countless volunteer hours and thousands of miles working on behalf of Rotary. He spearheaded efforts to create a serology lab in Dapaong, Togo, that has the equipment necessary to diagnose hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other blood-borne illnesses affecting thousands of African children. He has led a team of Rotarians to Togo, Benin, and Burkina Faso to immunize children against polio, and he was instrumental in developing a project to install 10 large water wells in the northern part of Africa.

Locally Grown podcast #17: Northfield's economic development with guest Mayor Lee Lansing

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TIP Strategies'consultants Jon Roberts and Karen Beard (left) presented a near-final draft of their economic development study to the EDA last Tuesday morning (center) and the report was discussed in episode #17 of Locally Grown, recorded Friday afternoon in the studios of KRLX (right) with Northfield Mayor Lee Lansing.

Click photos to enlarge and continue reading to hear the whole show (30 minutes).

Dog Park Advocates Pick Top Three Sites

Canines At Play is moving from a catchy phrase to a reality.

click to view larger mapWe've gathered information from more than 250 people and explored 10 possible sites. This week we won approval from the Park and Recreation Advisory Board to explore the three sites we had earmarked as our favorites.

Attached is a map that points to the approximate location of the three current finalist sites—namely, Babcock Park (between the Rodeo Grounds and Southgate movie theater and closer to the River); Spring Creek Park (the southeast end of the park beyond the Soccer fields); and Sibley Soccer Park (this is a large park and used less for soccer now that the Spring Creek Facility is in use, but it still has enough space separate from the fields for a dog park).

Schlosser Follows in the Footsteps of Upton Sinclair

Eric SchlosserTo a packed audience of students and citizens at Carleton College this morning, Eric Schlosser, author of the best-seller Fast Food Nation, presented a historical perspective on the labor practices of the meat packing industry from the time of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle to today.

Schlosser briefly promoted his new title (written with Charles Wilson), Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food, which directs insights from his groundbreaking exposé, Fast Food Nation, to the preteens and adolescents who comprise the fast food industry's biggest market. However, the primary content of his talk reflected on the relevance today of Upton Sinclair's expose of the meat packing industry and labor practices of 1906.

Noting that 100 years ago the top 5 meat packing companies controlled 55% of the market share, as compared to the top 4 today controlling 80% of the market share, Schlosser described the plight of the immigrant workers today in an industry closely partnering with the giants of the fast food world. In 2002, Schlosser observed that the meat packing industry had the highest injury rate of any industry. Due to changes in how injuries are recorded for the federal government, Schlosser commented with irony that bottled water plants now hold that position.

Lorna Landvik's coming to town

Click for larger posterNORTHFIELD READS! Meet Minnesota author Lorna Landvik Friday, May 12 at 7 p.m. downtown at the Northfield Arts Guild, 304 Division Street. The featured title will be her new paperback Oh My Stars.

Lorna Landvik is the author of the bestselling novels Patty Jane's House of Curl, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, Welcome to the Great Mysterious, The Tall Pine Polka, Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons and most recently Oh My Stars. She is also an actress, playwright, and proud hockey mom.

While growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lorna's passions were writing and theater. After graduating from high school, she and her best friend traveled across Europe and settled briefly in Bavaria. Upon returning to the States, Landvik attended the University of Minnesota and then moved to California, where she performed stand up comedy at the Comedy Store and at the Improv. During this time she also scouted bands for Atlantic Records.

Fast Food Nation's Eric Schlosser, PBS's Ray Suarez to speak at Carleton

Eric Schlosser Ray Suarez

Local political junkies and policy wonks should be flocking to campus in the next few days as Carleton College showcases two nationally-known media stars in its free weekly Friday convocation series.

Here are the highlights from the college's press releases:

This Friday, May 12, Eric Schlosser, author of the best-seller “Fast Food Nation,” will present a convocation titled “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal” at 10:50 a.m. in the Carleton College Skinner Memorial Chapel. The fast food industry has interested Schlosser for years. He studies America’s infatuation with fast food and the flavor labs where scientists re-create tastes, as well as fast food’s effect on the economy and the American diet.

Next Friday, May 19, Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for PBS's The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, will present a convocation titled “The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America” also at 10:50 a.m. in the chapel.

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