Carleton Hosts Fundraiser for Las Delicias

P1010031.JPGA standing-room-only crowd of approximately 300 people attended a fundraiser for the Barrientos family (owners of Northfield businesses, Las Delicias and El Buen Gusto). The event, held at Carleton College, featured a pot-luck dinner of Latin-American cuisine and live acoustic music. The suggested donation of $10 for students and $20 for community members will go directly to the Barrientos family to pay debts incured after the closing of El Buen Gusto, due to MNDoT's Highway 3 expansion project.

P1010024.JPGThe family has faced a loss of income, mounting medical and legal expenses, the repossession of an automobile, and a pending foreclosure of their home while attempting to meet with MNDoT officials regarding the relocation process of their business. Attempts to gain information on how to access relocation funds from MNDoT, as well as access to personal property moved by MNDoT and stored in Cannon Falls have broken down over the last four months due to what the family and organizers state as "language and cultural barriers".

More photos of the event are in the Gallery.

The Sheldahl Anniversary Fountain on Bridge Square

The Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge Square looks like it's had a makeover. Click the photos for larger views. The plaque reads:

Anniversary Fountain
Presented to the people of Northfield by Sheldahl, Inc. in recognition of its 25th anniversary and the many who have contributed to its progress. - Raymond L. Jacobson, Sculptor - August 1980

Upcoming Events

Lots happening in Northfield in the next few days. The ones I'm most aware of:

Today, May 4:
* Barrientos Fundraiser

Thursday, May 5:
* B2B Business Expo at the Grand (see text below)
* Rally for Education (PDF) on Bridge Square

Friday, May 6:
Farmer's Market opens

Saturday May 7:
Spring Fling, including the 9 am NDDC Downtown Fun Run

Division Street ducklings hatch

Five ducklings appeared about an hour ago in the planter on Division Street in front of The Kuyper Group offices. A nearby sign says, "Please stay away from the ducks. The mother will desert her babies." (Click the photo for a 800 pixel-wide view.)

A tip-of-the-blogger hat to Myriam Gonzalez for the phone alert.

Full disclosure:

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

pccsstrib200w.gifPrairie Creek Community School's annual May Day celebration was the focus of a Star Tribune photo/audio feature on Sunday titled Welcoming spring. (Thanks to Holly Cairns of NorthfieldWeb for the tip.)

"In what has become a school tradition, students, teachers, parents and alumni at the Prairie Creek Community School in Castle Rock gather to celebrate May Day. It begins with a parade through town, and finishes as the graduating fifth-graders dance around the maypole, and then are joined by everyone in a celebration of spring."

NDDC Downtown forum on wi-fi

Above Left: Panelists at today's NDDC Downtown Forum on wi-fi (Left to Right): Dave Pokorney from the City of Chaska; Stuart DeVaan, CEO of; Jane Leonard of Minnesota Rural Partners; Bob Courchaine of Northfield Internetworking.

Above right: fiber optic cable from the Twin Cities coming through town to serve Carleton and St. Olaf colleges with greatly increased high-speed Internet capacity, including Internet2. (See the March blog post on this.) Discussion at the NDDC forum included how excess capacity of this infrastructure could serve the Northfield community.

Update 1:30 PM: See NDDC Ross Currier's blog post summary of the meeting.

The Pokorney brothers: Dave Pokorney, Chaska City Manager; Jim Pokorney, Northfield City Council Member.

Public Service Week

Council Member Dixon Bond, with a bag of candy that was distributed to all City of Northfield employees yesterday, part of Public Service Week.

Northfield City Council meets tonight

northfiled_logo.gifThe Northfield City Council meets tonight, 7:00 PM at Northfield City Hall, 801 Washington Street.

Update 8:45: Deb Little sent me the Council agenda for tonight. I converted it to a PDF.


12:15 update: Council member Scott Davis alerted me that the Council Meeting Agenda page is NOW current. It has PDF links within the page.

2:30PM update: one of the PDFs on the city agenda page is incorrectly link. Here's the link to the PDF until they get it fixed:

Fund transfer from cable special revenue fund to capital facilities fund to provide for 2005 capital projects (3 page PDF)

3:30 Update: The above item, #14 on the agenda, is being postponed, according to an email I just received from City Administrator Susan Hoyt.

Julia Ward Howe addresses Northfield citizens

P1010007.JPGJulia Ward Howe (1819 - 1910), the famed writer of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, as well as poet and women's rights activist, traveled back to earth through time to address Northfield's citizens on Bridge Square on Saturday, April 29. Following the peace vigil by members of the People for Peace and Goodwill, Howe read her famous Mother's Day Proclaimation that she read in 1870 as a call to action for women to organize for peace.

"I've come back to Earth today to address women and mothers once again," proclaimed Ms. Howe.

P1010019.JPGHowe (portrayed by local resident Sharon Gates-Hull) also met with members of PPG and volunteers with the Community Composting Project of The Center for Sustainable Living. Howe took time to talk about composting in the 1800s, as well as ask where she could obtain a stylish new hat, similar to that worn by Kristen Melby (pictured - left).


Community Day of Service - today

Northfield's Community Day of Service is today.

Northfield's Community Day of Service is today.

Northfield's Community Day of Service is today.

Northfield's Community Day of Service is today.

Downtown's changing streetscape

John Slack, a consultant with Dahlgren, Shardlow, and Uban was at the Goodbye Blue Monday coffeehouse Friday afternoon, seeking input from downtown building and business owners about potential changes to the streetscape in the downtown district.

L to R: Karin Larson, Kurt Larson of Larson's Printing; Howard Merriam, Director Resource & Park Planning and Deanna Kuennen, Housing & Economic Development Specialist for the City of Northfield; John Slack; Jim Bohnhoff of Bohnhoff Design, Dan Riggins, co-owner, Goodbye Blue Monday.

Bill McGrath gives overview of Northern Ireland at PPG

On Thursday, April 28, local citizen and activist Bill McGrath gave a presentation on the history and politics of the conflicts in Northern Ireland at the Center for Sustainable Living. The presentation, put on by the Northfield People for Peace and Goodwill (PPG), gave attendees an overview of the differing political parties and the role religion plays in the politics of Northern Ireland. In the discussions following McGrath's presentation, attendees explored similarities between the conflicts in Northern Ireland and other nations around the world, as well as spoke about the potential benefits and pitfalls of the unification of Northern Ireland with the southern Republic of Ireland.

Disclosure: The author is a member of PPG and a board member of the Center for Sustainable Living.

Take Back the Night - tonight

Gloria Krusemeyer was staffing the "Take Back the Night" booth on Bridge Square this afternoon. All the T-shirts (click the photo for a larger view) were decorated by Rice County survivors of sexual abuse/assault.

Leah Lutz, Executive Director of the HOPE Center, has posted more info on the other "Take Back the Night" events for today, including the 8 pm march through downtown area to Carleton, on the HOPE Center weblog.

Full disclosure:

Agricultural easements in Sciota Township

Hilary Ziols, Cannon River Watershed Partnership, sent me photos that she took Wednesday at nearby Sciota Town Hall. Officials from the Natural Resources Conservation Service were on hand to celebrate "the first several agricultural easements in Minnesota."

See the photo album for more. See the press release from Jane Vanderpoel, Dakota County Communications Manager.

Garbage enclosures downtown

Are these candidates for garbage enclosures? (Click any photo for a larger view.)

If so, who should pay for them... the City, like the one recently constructed on the West side? Or the building/business owner, like the one at The Rueb that the NDDC's Ross Currier noted last fall?

(A tip-of-the-blogger hat to Bill Metz for photo suggestions.) Full disclosure:

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