'Eat Local Challenge' starts August 15

Submitted by Joey Robison

It's estimated that our food travels an average of 1,300 miles from field to fork. Eating food produced locally is better for the environment and better for the local economy. But where do you start if you’d like to adopt a more regional diet?

You can begin by taking the Eat Local Challenge, which runs from August 15 to September 23. Just Food Co-op is challenging community members to eat 80 percent of their diet from food produced in the five-state region for six weeks.

The Eat Local Challenge will kick off with a book talk and reading by professional chef and locavore Jessica Prentice at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 14, at Just Food.

“It’s a big commitment, but it’s good to be able to support your friends and those who are good stewards of the land,” says Rollie Jacobsen, lead cashier at Just Food. The Co-op labels its locally produced foods to make them easier to find, and the Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture farms are also great places to find local fare.

Meet our winners!

We've found them!

Last week we announced that Kevin and Peggy Fink were the winners of one of our "Dinner on Us" drawings, which means they recrived a $50 gift certificate for Froggy Bottoms, just for joining Northfield Citizens Online, the group that brings you Northfield.org.

Usually, we like to include a photo and some comments with the announcements, but the Finks weren't answering the phone. Turns out, they were on vacation -- and were happy to receive the good news when they returned.

They told us:

"We think Northfield.org is a real plus to the citizens of our wonderful town. The diversity, uniqueness and richness of its content makes nearly every visit to Northfield.org informative and memorable. Thanks to all of the dedicated people of NCO that give us the gift of Northfield.org.  We strongly encourage everyone to become members like we did."

Hospital breaks ground for new clinic

Editor's note: Our thanks go to City Councilor and professional photographer Scott Davis of Stone Cottage Photography, who provided photos from Tuesday's groundbreaking. Click on the photo to see a few additional shots, or click here to go to his studio site and see a whole gallery of photos.

Northfield Hospital broke ground Tuesday on an 18,600 square foot medical clinic that will provide space for the Women’s Health Center and an expansion of physician services provided by Cannon Valley Clinic -- Mayo Health System.

The new clinic, called FamilyHealth Medical Clinic -- Northfield, will be attached to the northwest corner of the hospital. It will provide space for the Women’s Health Center and the departments of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, General Surgery and Ear, Nose and Throat.

17-year old receives private pilot license at Stanton

Congratulations to Peter Schumann of St. Paul who passed his Flight Test with the FAA on Saturday August 5th at Stanton Airfield. Peter turned 17 in April and began taking flight lessons in December 2005 in Stanton's Cessna 150 aircraft.

Peter flew roughly 8 hours with an instructor prior to being granted his solo pilot certificate in April while still 16 years old. He then flew another 32 hours practicing to pass the test with an FAA examiner. The test involved several hours of oral questions by the examiner in areas of aircraft systems, airspace, navigation, weather, and aerodynamics. Following this Peter took the examiner up for several flights to demonstrate his skills in the aircraft, with particular emphasis on safety awareness and emergency procedures.

With his new license Peter can now take passengers up flying, and he already has several fly-in destinations in the area he intends to visit. Peter attends Central High School in St. Paul.

Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra at Central Park

The Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra will be at Central Park Wednesday night! This is the traditional finale of the Books & Stars schedule (see this photo gallery of last year's season-closer with CVRO). Come listen to beautiful music at a beautiful park. (Rain site is the NHS Auditorium.)

Booker, the Book Bus opens at 6 pm. This free, family oriented show starts at 7 pm. Booker has library materials for all ages. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and settle in for fun! The Cocoa Bean returns to sell their refreshing Hawaiian Shaved Ice and half the proceeds are donated to Booker!

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

"Dinner On Us" Membership Drawing

Week Six Drawing:  The Tavern of Northfield

We are proud to announce that our sixth "Dinner On Us" gift certificate is for $50 to the Tavern of Northfield.  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 13, with the winner being announced on Monday, August 14.

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.

'Tartuffe' is a hit; more shows this weekend

Megan Proft of the Northfield Arts Guild has added some photos from last weekend's performance of "Tartuffe" to our growing gallery of photos for this year's ArtSwirl Festival

You can click here to see all the photos from the Theater-in-the-Park production and the rest of the ArtSwirl gallery. An ancient play with a controversial history, "Tartuffe"  is Moliere’s biting comedy centering on questions of hypocrisy, belief, and the power of religious pretense. Click here to read more...

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. There's a LOT here, from police activity statistics to street closings and budget meetings.

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

And it's a busy week...

City Council meets at 7 tonight at City Hall. One of the topics will be a recommendation by the Environmental Quality Commission to adopt an organic pest management policy, basically limiting pest control to organic products and processes. This is an information and is expected to be referred to staff for study.

Pepper Ridge Valley Holds 6th Annual Block Party

The Pepper Ridge Valley neighborhood on the south side of town held its sixth annual block party this last Saturday, Aug. 5.

The weather cleared just in time for the event to start and began to rain just after the event ended. Neighborhood claims of divine favoritism are unsubstantiated at this time.

Around 80 neighbors came to the event, which featured a bouncy castle in the shape of a tiger for the kids, plus games, food and drinks for the adults. It ran from noon to midnight, with a few hardy souls in attendence for the entire event. The Pepper Ridge Valley website has a writeup and you can click here to view 88 pictures in the photo gallery. (Click here to view the slideshow)

Northfield teen dies in NYC accident

WCCO News in the Twin Cities is reporting that 18-year-old Natalie Smead of Northfield died three hours after she was struck by a train in a tragic accident Saturday afternoon about 4 p.m.in New York City. The television news report indicated she was in New York visiting family and that it was unclear if she was pushed or fell onto the tracks. When she tried to crawl from under the train, she was hit by another train on the adjacent tracks.

There aren't a lot more details, but you can get the entire story at WCCO News or on its news broadcasts on Channel 4. 

ArtSwirl: Japanese Garden tour and Arts Guild member show

I was disappointed that I couldn't make it to any of the Young People's Theater performances this year, but I did manage to take in a couple of swell ArtSwirl events yesterday, and I added a batch of photos to the ArtSwirl 2006 gallery.

At lunchtime I snuck over to Carleton College's Japanese garden ("The Garden of Quiet Listening") for a tour led by Margit and Eric Johnson, who work as volunteers in the garden every Thursday morning throughout the growing season. It was my first visit to this amazing space in the four years I've been living in town, but certainly not my last.

And last night I hit the opening reception for the annual Members Exhibition at the Northfield Arts Guild downtown gallery. It was a great show, with a lot of new artists showing their works.

Firearms training class slated in August

You can sign up today for the Minnesota Firearms Safety Training Course, offered by the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division and the Cannon River Sportsmen’s Club.

This class and field trip will cover safe gun handling, gun safety in the home, care and storage of firearms, marksmanship and hunter responsibility. Students who enroll must be 12 years old by Dec. 31, 2006, and there is no maximum age Class dates are Aug. 21-24, 28-30, with the field trip on Aug. 26.

For more information or to register for this class, stop at the Northfield Community Services Office, located on the first floor of the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC), at 1651 Jefferson Parkway in Northfield. For more information, call Erin at 664-3649, or go online to www.nfld.k12.mn.us.

Mark Etzell is the Adult Enrichement Coordinator for the Northfield Public Schools Community Service Division. 

Way Park plans met with enthusiasm

Spencer JonesThe City of Northfield presented a public forum to review designs for Way Park on Wednesday evening at the Community Resource Center. About 50 citizens attended, most of whom were residents of the park's west side neighborhood.

After comments from a few city officials, landscape architect and Park Board member Spencer Jones presented four different designs for the park, which doubled in size after the demolition of the old Northfield Hospital in 2005. The plans were greeted with enthusiasm by the crowd, particularly the members of the Friends of Way Park who have worked to make the expanded park a reality.

Citizens were given a chance to provide written feedback about all the designs and also to participate in a Q&A session that was moderated by Charley Skinner.

All four designs present different approaches to dealing with First Street, which bisects the park. One of the plans features the street routed around the park, funneling traffic to Second Street. The other plans run the gamut from narrowing the road to expanding it with a greenspace median or sculptural elements. Much of the public discussion focused on the street issue and safety concerns, but attendees also spoke of the desire for the park to become a true community park—not just a neighborhood resource—and to that end all four designs feature some form of performance space, in addition to maintaining the park's "tot lot" playground and ice rink.

Add some ice cream to your summer fun

Mitch Patrikus sent us this cute picture of his little sister to enter our "Beat the Heat Photo Contest." Sure, it's cooled off a little, but it's still August, the sun is shining and we can finally head out and enjoy it.

When you head out, take your camera and capture the fun. Then send the photos to us. 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.

You can shoot people relaxing, beach scenes, kids eating drippy ice cream cones, anything that means summer. (Swimsuit shots are allowed, but keep the topless photos for your personal photo 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 August 15. You can see all the entries by clicking on the photo above.

'Tartuffe' opens Friday as ArtSwirl spins through Northfield

The cast of "Tartuffe" is in costume and just about ready for their first public performance on Friday night. Cast members were busy rehearsing in Central Park Wednesday night when Sheryl Joy of the Northfield Arts Guild snapped some photos of their work. To see the photos taken, visit our photo collection.

Sheryl sent us this info about the play: 

"Tartuffe" is this year’s Theater-in-the-Park production by the Arts Guild. An ancient play with a controversial history, "Tartuffe" will be a lively theatrical centerpiece for this year’s ArtSwirl Festival. Tartuffe, the play’s namesake character, is a devout man for whom religion is central to life . . . or is he? Moliere’s wickedly funny script explores questions of hypocrisy, belief, and the power of religious pretense.

Click here to

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