City Hall Insider

Al RoderEver wonder what happens at City Hall each week? Here's the scoop. Each week City Administrator Al Roder (left) shares the memo he sends to city officials summarizing all the work of all the departments. Everything's here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

Just click here to read the pdf version of the report for last week. You need Acrobat Reader to read the file. And head to the City Hall site to check out the complete city events calendar and find the agendas and other details for all meetings.

This week...

City Council meets at 7 tonight at City Hall for a quick business meeting to clear up the liquor license for the upcomming Defeat of Jesse James Days and then a work session.

Tuesday offers a full slate of events at City Hall:
Charter Commission
, 7 p.m.
Candidate Information Session, 7 p.m.
Environmental Quality Commission
, 7 p.m.

St. Olaf named in 'Colleges That Change Lives'

St. Olaf College is one of 40 U.S. colleges listed in Colleges That Change Lives (Penguin, 2006), the influential guide by former New York Times education editor Loren Pope.

St. Olaf is the only Minnesota college to make the cut and the only Lutheran-affiliated school in the book. Other colleges on the list include Beloit College in Wisconsin, Reed College in Oregon and Denison University in Ohio — the previous employer of St. Olaf’s new president, David R. Anderson ’74.

“This book... will help youths of many levels of academic aptitude find catalytic colleges that will change their lives,” writes Pope. “In doing so it will free them from our system’s obscene obsession with academic aptitude, which does not determine achievement, satisfaction with life, or the merit of a human being.”

Director of St. Olaf Admissions Jerry Pope (no relation) says that many people he meets during the admissions process are passionate about Colleges That Change Lives. “It has a huge following,” says Pope, pictured above.

5th Bridge invites teens to Movie Night Thursday

5th Bridge, a new Northfield organization committed to deepening the culture and habit of volunteerism in Northfield, will be hosting a “Movie Night” at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 17, to introduce Northfield youth to the “Utter Joy” campaign.  We are inviting all high school youth leaders to enjoy an evening of fun and an opportunity to learn about this new initiative.  The gathering will be hosted at the farm of Rick and Kris Estenson, at 10541 Ibson Avenue (see map), about two miles east of town.  The evening will start with music and root beer floats, followed by a short program and capped off with a fun movie projected on a huge screen.  You don’t need to sign up in advance.  If you are entering 9th grade through 12th grade come and join us for a great event.  If it’s raining, no problem—the event is taking place in a huge pole barn. To learn more about 5th Bridge go to

Kwik Trip to build bigger store

Well, it’s no secret that the Kwik Trip at Hwy. 3 and 19 has been suffering, what with all the road construction making a visit there anything but a quick trip.


The company, which is based in LaCross, Wisconsin, isn’t discouraged, however. Quite the contrary. In a few days you’ll see even more construction equipment move into the area as the company builds a new store directly behind the existing one.

More inside...

Election Judge Training: New Machines

The AutoMark Voter Assistance TerminalI went to my my first election judge training for the year on Wednesday, August 9. Primarily, the training was for head election judges, like me, and city clerks. We were given a brief overview of the changes to the post election review process, and the new election equipment.

Read the rest of this post for more information about the new equipment at

Skiers perform in summer event

First Ski-less Skidaddle raises $1,000

The Northfield High School Nordic Ski Team proved they could maneuver well in the heat as well. The team hosted its first Ski-less Skidaddle race and pancake breakfast last Saturday -- and raised more than $1,000 for their sport.

Michael Collins of St. Paul won the 5k with a time of 18:05, while David Beck of Northfield won the 10k with a time of 42:55. There were 33 runners in all, not bad considering the competition from 10 other races in the state and a host of activities throughout Northfield. In fact, runners came from around the area and as far away as Iowa.

How did they pull it off? I asked Nick Swanson, a junior and one of the four team captains. He provided a whole gallery of photos you can see here or by clicking on the photo above.

More inside...

Writers speak out at ArtSwirl event

Dozens of writers and fans of writing showed up Wednesday for a tasty buffet of works at the Northfield Arts Guild presentation of “Time, Summertime, No Time: Readings of Original Work” Wednesday at the NAG studio.

The line-up included: D.E. Green, Brendon Etter, Kevin Krein, Mary Steil, Bill Metz, Robert Rokke, Doug Mead, Stephanie Vasko, Raven Bradt and Olivia Frey. The event was part of the ArtSwirl festival, which runs through August 13. Just click the link for a schedule of events.

Sheryl Joy of the Arts Guild has sent along photos, which we have added to a whole gallery of pictures from ArtSwirl. You can click on the photo to see a larger version and browse the entire gallery.

Orchestra highlights Books & Stars finale

The Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra brought sweet music to Central Park, providing a rousing finale to the Books & Stars summer season.

Librarian Kathy Ness has sent us photos of the event, which you can see by viewing our archives for Wednesday, August 9th. You also can see a gallery of more than 100 photos from the entire season.

Northfield Swimming Pool Construction Update

Progress is being made on the new $2.85 million Northfield Swimming Pool at Memorial Field.  The construction started on July 7th and target opening date is June 2007.  The pictures show several sections of the new pool under construction along with the sign showing the completed pool.

More details, plans and documents can be found on the Pool Project section of the city website.

Help set a reading record August 24

Join us at the library at Noon on Thursday, August 24th to promote children’s school readiness through one-to-one reading of Wally Piper's The Little Engine that Could.

Northfield Public Library celebrates Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, a national campaign to engage teens, adults and children all across America in setting the world record for the largest shared reading experience ever.

“Early learning experiences are crucial to the growth and development of young children,” said Kathy Ness and Leesa Wisdorf, Children's Librarians. Jumpstart’s Read for the Record provides opportunities for everyone in the United States to support quality early education and to engage in the powerful learning experiences that Jumpstart models in its classrooms every day.” We encourage readers of all ages to register at and sign up to read the campaign’s official book, The Little Engine That Could, on August 24.

More inside...

Recycling pays off for Green Teams

Have you ever noticed the recycling centers outside EconoFoods and Cub Foods? Have you ever used them?

Lots of people do, and their trash is turning into treasure for local nonprofit organizations. The youth groups, operating as "Green Teams," encourage people to bring in their recycling items and at the end of their designated months, pick up a check for the value of the material recovered. This week two Green Teams picked up their checks at the City Council meeting.

The teams are The Northfield Youth Choirs (at left) and The Northfield Goal Club (above). These two teams served as the Youth Recycling Green Teams for May-July. Together the two teams educated residents, monitored the recycling boxes and recycled 151.6 tons of cardboard and mixed paper at the two recycling drop-off locations in Northfield. Waste Management donates $15 for each ton recycled to the Green Teams. Each organization will receive a check for $1,337.45.

Chef Jessica Prentice to speak at Just Food Co-op Monday

Nationally-known professional chef and local-eating advocate Jessica Prentice will speak at Just Food Co-op on Monday, August 14, at 7:30 p.m. about her new book, "Full Moon Feast." This event is free and open to the public.

Full of recipes, lore and inspiration, Prentice's book follows the thirteen lunar cycles of the agrarian year to provide the reader with a connection to the seasons and the food they provide. Limited copies of the book are available now at Just Food Co-op and can be signed by Prentice on Monday night.


Carleton ranked in LGBT top 100 campus guide

Carleton College has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Campuses for LGBT students and is included in “The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students,” the first comprehensive campus guide to highlight the 100 most LGBT-friendly campuses in the United States.

Carleton’s positive environment, programs, and services and LGBT student coalitions were cause for the distinction. “Carleton is a wonderful place, and this honor highlights all the work campus leaders and alumni have done to make sure that LGBT students do not only survive but thrive here,” says Gender and Sexuality Center director and LGBT advisor Kaaren M. Williamsen-Garvey.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFLooks like one of Minnesota's famed weekends ahead - mid- to low-80s and plenty of sunshine!

There's outdoor theater in Central Park ­ Tartuffe's last performances are tonight, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. ­ Tickets are available through Northfield Arts Guild, 645-8877 or online at Tonight is Hip Hop Night at the Reub and Anton Ryan will be playing at the Tavern, and Friday night should be a great night to catch the soothing sounds of Harmonic voodoo on the Tavern deck.

ArtSwirl is in full swirl Saturday with a Village School Tour, Artists Studio Tour and the Dolce Recorder Quartet playing at 4 p.m. at NAG. Into the evening catch Charlie Parr's great acoustic blues at Hogan Brothers and John Manners at the Tavern. Sunday the Artists Studio Tour continues, while Mike's Bikes is the kick-off site for Tours de Nick - a 10- to 55-mile bike benefit for Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. And at 2 p.m. The NAG will be the site for storytelling by Real Lives Aloud.

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