Sesquicentennial appreciation photo album

The Northfield Historical Society held an appreciation party for Sesquicentennial volunteers last night at the Northfield Golf Club. Left: NHS president Rob Schanilec addresses the crowd. Center: Sesquicentennial co-chairs Jennifer Sawyer and Dan Freeman; Right: The Prairie Creek Group. Click the photos to enlarge and see two dozen more in the Sesquicentennial appreciation album.


Olympic gymnastic trials

These guys were doing front flips on the boulevard on the west side of downtown last night. Zane Anway, on the right in the group photo, nailed his flip for my camera on his first try. Click the photos to enlarge. *Update* Thanks to several readers who used the contact us form to give us the names of the other guys in the photo. They are, left to right: Schuyler Huber, Joe McGowan, Drew Wilson and Zane Anway.


Bird flu advisory to school superintendents

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Goodbye Blue Monday regular Charlie Kyte, former Northfield schools superintendent and now Executive Director of the MN Association of School Administrators, sent me this document (PDF) that he wrote recently for Minnesota superintendents regarding the bird flu. He also wrote, "I provided Superintendents a further private briefing paper outlining what to expect and actions to take in the event a serious outbreak actually happens."


Waves on the hockey rink

It was 44 degrees downtown at 6 am, after a high yesterday of 48, according to the Carleton College Weather Database.

The hockey rink at Woodley and Hwy 3 had small waves on it at 9 am when I took this photo. Click to enlarge.


United Way volunteer/donor Julia Braulick

Julia Braulick was volunteering today at the Northfield Area United Way office, running the letter sealing/postage meter (left). Two weeks ago, it was her $20 donation from her allowance (center photo) that put the current campaign over the 50% level. It now stands at 80%. Right photo, L to R: Executive Director Elizabeth Schott with Julia's mom, Leslie Schultz. Click the photos to enlarge. Elizabeth would like to remind everyone that you can also donate to the Northfield Area United Way via credit card.


Excessive tree trimming?

Dan Dimick phoned me earlier this afternoon, concerned about what he thought was excessively harsh tree trimming near his house on 2nd St. West near St. John's Lutheran Church. Asplundh is evidently the contractor that Xcel Energy uses here in Northfield for tree trimming around its powerlines. Click the photos to enlarge. Join the ISSUES list to follow/contribute to the conversation.

Friday, 01/27 6:15 am update: Dan Dimick posted an update on this to the ISSUES list.

Friday 10 am update: I added the photo on the right which I took this morning.


Snowmen, snow sculptures

Susan Crow sent me these photos she took recently of various snowmen she spotted around town. Click to enlarge. And tonight, the Union of Youth is hosting a Snow Sculptures for Art Project at The Key. See Joshua Jude's blog post for more info.


City Council Work Session AND Regular Meeting

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The Northfield City Council meets Monday at Northfield City Hall, 801 Washington Street. The agenda and complete council packet are available on the City's Jan. 23 agenda web page.


Sculpture "Harvest" proposed for Bridge Square

Ray "Jake" Jacobson's unveiled a model of his proposed sculpture "Harvest" in Bridge Square last Thursday afternoon. Thanks to Rick Estenson at First National Bank Northfield and Susan Crow for the photos. Click to enlarge. And see Ross Currier's post 10 Foot High Mock-Up of Proposed Sculpture Displayed Downtown from Jan. 4 for more background on the piece.


Where, in Northfield, is this?

Where, in Northfield, is this? Click to enlarge. Here's your hint: Usually, a worn path indicates an easier stride. But in this place, the opposite is true -- a worn path signifies greater human stuggle. Attach a comment here or use the Contact Us form.


Being Responsible: Cats and Birds Don't Mix

We're lonely out here. The Cairns' bird feeders are swinging away, completely empty. Not a single fine feathered friend. You might be surprised that we have to have it this way. Much to our chagrin, we realized we just couldn't feed the birds, anymore. We are, after all, kind hearted and responsible. We'd like to encourage you to be bird friendly, too: If you have a cat, you might not want to feed the birds, either.


School District Asks for Help Again with Budget Reductions

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The Northfield School District has requested that the Budget Reduction Committee, formed last year to address shortfalls in revenue from the State, reconvene to address the district's continuing deficit, projected by Supt. L. Chris Richardson in the high school newsletter sent out recently to be approximately $700,000 at the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

A series of events led up to the lingering shortfall.

Despite successfully cutting $2.9 million from the 05-06 school year, the district still fell $300,000 short of its reductions goal "due to a reinstatement of some funding at the secondary level, maintenance of the school nurses across the district and the mandated program requirements for special education and English language learners." The rise in natural gas and diesel fuel prices are projected to be $225,000 higher than predictions last spring.


At the NAG: Family Farms: A Tribute

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I stopped by the NAG gallery on Saturday afternoon to take a look at the Family Farms exhibit, with last summer's visit to the Closson family dairy farm south of town, part of the Sesquicentennial celebration, fresh in my mind. (My town-girl impression then: "Man, cows are big!" I'd never been so close to one before.)

The exhibit includes works by 14 local artists from about the last 50 years; the earliest work I noted was John Maakestad's "Cow Yard" (1958). I enjoyed Stephanie Henriksen's large standing cutout figures of a farm girl in overalls and a gardener with floppy hat and garden hose.


Long hours for the NCO Board, Tech Committee

It's been a weekend of long hours of volunteering for both the NCO Board and the Tech Committee. Click photos to enlarge.


"Locally Grown" podcast for Jan. 20

Issues covered in the 4th show of "Locally Grown," recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton yesterday afternoon:

1. Groundbreaking for Northfield Crossing: 0:00 to 7:00
2. Arts/cultural programming on 3rd Thursdays: 7:00 to 14:00
3. Cereal bowl bandshell in Ames Park: 14:00 to 17:30
4. Traffic calming: 17:30 to 26:00
5. Q-Comp update: 26:00 to 30:00
6. Straw poll to rate public school teachers: 30:00 to 33:00


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