Midwestern Midwinter Escapism

FebruaryOK, so it hasn't been a very difficult season from a weather standpoint. But still there comes a point in every winter, usually in February, where a midwesterner starts to feel particularly landlocked. Something about sitting in the middle of a continent, with thousands of miles of cold, hard soil between yourself and the oceans—those launching points to the rest of the world's wonders—that makes a person start to feel a bit...well, restless.

GONorthfield.org received an email the other day from Bob Entenmann, the chair of the St. Olaf Asian Studies program, with a prescription for beating the midwestern midwinter blues: the Midwest Japan Film Festival. On each Tuesday in February—beginning tonight—a different film from contemporary Japan will be shown FREE OF CHARGE at 7pm at the Southgate Cinema. So if the ol' cabin fever is starting to get the best of you, I suggest you do as the title of tonight's film suggests and GO.

"Locally Grown" podcast for 02.03.06: economic development


Issues covered in show #6 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton last Friday afternoon: The EDA and the forthcoming economic development plan. See EDA member Tracy Davis' weblog post Economic Development Plan - "Context Mapping" session which contains the PowerPoint presentation and Community Assessment - TIP Strategies (DRAFT) which contains the PDF document.

Click the play button to listen (42 mintues). Subscribe to the feed. Subscribe with iTunes. Join the ISSUES discussion list to continue the conversation on these and other issues. Attach a comment to give us feedback. See the Locally Grown page for more the show.


Northfield City Council meeting tonight

The Northfield City Council meets tonight at Northfield City Hall, 801 Washington Street.

The agenda and complete council packet are available on the City's Feb. 6 agenda web page.

Among the items on the agenda:

* the outdoor swimming pool

Straw poll: Favorite place to buy coffee in the morning

Where's your favorite place to buy coffee in the morning in Northfield?

Take the coffee straw poll.  Yes, you have to first register to take the poll. But once you've done that, then you, too, can create totally useless, unscientific straw polls here.


Freeloader Five

Who are these guys bellying up to the noodle bar on Friday at Wiggles and Wok, getting a free lunch? Click the photo for a larger view.

Register and then attach a comment if you know their names. (I know their names, but I'm trying to entice y'all to register) 

Please register

One of the taglines we're experimenting with (see it in our temporary logo) is "community news, citizen produced." On the lower left sidebar, you'll see a box that looks like this:

We really want everyone to Create a new account and become not just a consumer of local news and information but a producer. See the How to Contribute Content page for more on the current ways you can do this.


(New) Chairman's Corner

Doug B.Greetings from the new Board Chair of Northfield Citizens Online. I've served on the board for three and a half years, but just a few weeks ago our former chair (and current vice-chair), Bruce Morlan, passed the reins of leadership over to me. And what a fortnight it's been!

I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about the new look and functionality of Northfield.org, but I would like to say one thing about the change: it's huge. At this point it may just look like we moved a few things around (and maybe you take issue with where we moved them...let us know!), but stick around for awhile and you'll start to feel the fundamental shift that's underway. And keep this phrase in mind: "Power to the people!"

I'd really just like to use this "bully pulpit" to share a few of my recent observations about Northfield and NCO...

Changeover heroes

These guys delivered the pizza this week, pulling off the major changeover from the old N.org platform to the new with hardly a hiccup.

L to R: Adam Gurno, Chip Cuccio, Sean Hayford O'Leary. Click to enlarge.

Tech committee chair Chip deserves special mention for orchestrating the high drama switch flipping Friday night from 11 PM to 3 AM, and then doing the all-day tweaking on Saturday to whip the platform into shape.

Learning about Democratic Education

Several citizens recently attended an open forum at The Village School of Northfield to learn more about its vision and mission, and to call out for support from the local community. Teachers, students, and community members joined in the conversation about democratic education, restorative justice, and current and past projects of The Village School. For more in-depth coverage, see my editorial in The Center for Sustainable Living's blog. -Scott Schumacher

Welcome to the new Northfield.org

Greetings! And welcome to the new platform for Northfield.org. [This post will remain "sticky" (on top) for several days to alert everyone to the changes.]

We're furiously working on miscellaneous items that need tweaking after the changeover from the Movable Type platform to this CivicSpace platform. Also, this design template is a temporary one.

Where in Northfield is this? La Mena

This week's "where is it" post from January 31st asked: "What's the name of that new store next to the Forget-Me-Not Florist and Le Nails Northfield?"

Wiggles & Wok sneak preview/fundraiser

Wiggles & Wok, in the old Quiznos building at 2nd St. and Hwy 3, opens on Monday, Feb. 6. Right: Brett Shepard with owner Mike Hoover, former owner of The Ranch House. Click photos to enlarge.

But tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 3), they'll be open from 11 am to 3 pm, serving a menu of noodles, stir fry, soups and salads.

The food will be free but patrons will be asked to make a donation to help pay the medical expenses for the Gilbertson family and the Mendoza family.

Weekend entertainment

negcoverthumbgeneric.gifThere's lots happening this weekend in the Northfield area... starting tonight.


  • Carleton
  • Art on Water
  • Northfield High School
  • NAG Theater
  • The Tavern (2 events)
  • The Contented Cow (3 events)
  • Brad's Corner Bar (2 events)

See page 5-6 of the current issue of the NEG, the Northfield Entertainment Guide (PDF)

Northfield.org web usage stats for Jan. 2006

According to the software that our web host service (Tiger Technologies) uses (AWStats), the traffic to our web site for January, 2006 looks like this:


Translation: we had 14,385 different people visiting 36,850 times and viewing 200,938 pages. We averaged 1,188 people/per day for the month, with a peak of 1,581 on Jan. 17.

We just purchased another web traffic analysis software application, so that we can be more confident of the numbers. We hope to have it installed soon. Along with our new platform, we expect to be able to offer sponsors much better information on traffic by early March.

Circle of Service photo album

The Circle of Service volunteerism group (PDF explanation) brought new carpeting and a fresh coat of kitchen paint to a Northfield family last Saturday. Members of the team: Pat O'Neill, Marge Evans-De Carpio, Fr. Denny Dempsey, Leota Goodney, Jim Pokorney, Scott Nesbit, Doug Wornson, Norman Butler, Heidi Hamilton, Clarice Grenier Grabau, me.

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