Veteran's Memorial construction begins

Construction has started on the Veteran's Memorial in Riverside Lion's Park, across Hwy 3 from the rodeo grounds.

See the photo album I started back in January of the site and plans.

Academic Civic Engagement Summit

100_1431med.jpgToday was day two of the three day "2005 Service Learning and Academic Civic Engagement Summit" hosted by St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges. The summit consists of a variety of lectures and discussions regarding students, education, and community involvement.

The Ole Store - Internet Cafe

Ken Wedding sent me this photo of a neon "Internet Cafe" sign in the window of the Ole Store, currently undergoing a revamping under new owners.

As reported back in March, the Ole Store will re-open sometime in June.

Hwy 3 Detours - starting Monday

Detour Map #1: Eastbound Hwy 19 traffic routed east on Woodley to Prairie, north to Wall St. Road, east to Spring Creek Road, north to Hwy 19. (Right photo: the new, temporary parking lot at Hwy 3 & 2nd St., replacing the Water St. lot to the east of the footbridge.)


Detour Map #2: Southbound Hwy 3 traffic routed west on Greenvale to Spring, north to Lincoln Parkway, west to Lincoln St., south to Forest Ave, east on Forest/Third St.

Update 5 PM: I've attached the text of the MN DOT press release.

Photo album - Rally for Education

Northfield Middle School history teacher Earl Weinmann, one of the 10 finalists for Minnesota Teacher of the Year, speaking to the Rally for Education crowd on Bridge Square tonight. (Click the photos for a larger view. Thanks to Jane McWilliams for the photo on the right.)

See the Rally for Education photo album for two dozen more photos.

Hundreds Rally for Education on Bridge Square

Approximately 200-300 people converged on Bridge Square this afternoon to show their support for education. They called for a 5% increase to the education funding formula for two years.

Attendees listened to multiple speakers: Lee Lansing, Northfield Mayor; Frank Flavell, a NHS Student; Earl Weinmann, Northfield Teacher of the Year; Dr. Chris Richardson, Northfield Superintendent; and Mary Cecconi of Parents United. They were also given the opportunity to sign their names to prepared postcards or fill out their own to be sent to State House Representative Ray Cox, State House Majority Leader Steve Sviggum, State Senator Tom Neuville, Governor Tim Pawlenty, and State Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson.

Duck march to the Cannon River - the whole story

The Division Street duck hatchery closed today. Mother and thirteen offspring made the trek to the Cannon River. Photos by Nikki Whipple.

Update, Friday 9 am: I got the complete story from Joy Westenberg at The Kuyper Group this morning.

Northfield Farmer's Market Begins Friday

The Northfield Farmer's Market, a 32 year tradition, begins again tomorrow in Riverside Park (the one next to the Collegeville Development construction by Wells Fargo).

In a nation where most food purchased at supermarkets have traveled an average of over 1,000 miles, the Farmer's Market is as local as you can get without growing it yourself or raiding your neighbor's garden. More than a dozen vendors bring their in-season products-all from the Northfield Area. Available products are expected to include a variety of plants, asparagus, rhubarb, eggs, maple syrup, jams & jellies, baked goods, dried flowers, honey, and meats.

The Market is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 to 11:00 a.m.

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.

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