Come one, come all, to a Night of a Zillion Laughs February 18, 7-11 p.m. at the Grand Event Center!

The Northfield Historical Society is saying thank you to the Grand for their support of downtown Northfield with this fundraiser. There will be stand-up comedy by T. McKinley at 7:30. Then from 8:45 to 11:00 dance the night away to the music of the Zillionaires. (Click image to enlarge.)

This event is FREE to the public with NO COVER at the door. Donations will be accepted at the door, with the proceeds going to the Northfield Historical Society. This is an event not-to-be-missed! COME ON DOWN AND HAVE SOME FUN WITH US!

Fighting Crime: Reading to Kids

Chief Smith, storytellerA few night ago at the Greenvale Park elementary school's Family Fun Night, along with basketball, origami, button making and other activities, police chief Gary Smith was doing a bit of extra community service by reading stories to children around a "campfire."

I saw on Chief Smith's web log that he did the same thing last month at Sibley, and will be reading again at Bridgewater elementary in March.

Hiliners advance to the state tournament

What's it like to do 500 kicks a practice? Just ask a Hiliner. These girls have worked hard, and their reward is a trip to the 2006 state dance tournament. The Northfield Hiliners took third in Section 1AA and will be going to the state competition for the third year in a row.


The Hiliners dance team practices three hours a day, four days a week. On Wednesday they have a shortened, 6:00 to 7:30 AM practice. The team is coached by Kristin Cade, Dana Thomas, Audrey Stanton (JV), Liz Rohach (JV) and will be competing at the Excel Energy Center on Saturday, February 18th. The team would love your support! Go Hiliners! The photo is a still image taken from a video clip. Click to enlarge but it's not the best quality.

A challenge to the relatives of these Northfielders


I took photos of these people (click to enlarge) at yesterday's open house at Village on the Cannon.  Some, possibly all, have roots and relatives in Northfield. I know who they are, but I'm not going to name them just yet, as I have in mind a blatantly manipulative scheme to get more people to register as new users here for the new Northfield.org. Sooooo....

If you are related to any of these people -- immediate family member, relative, distant relative, lost relative, disowned relative, etc. -- please REGISTER and attach a comment to the blog post, identifying yourself and your relationship to which person in which photo. The more relatives who register and attach a comment, the better. The person who has the most relatives attach individual comments will win an all-expenses paid trip to a local coffeehouse of their choice with me. 2nd and 3rd place? I'll think of something. DEADLINE is one week from today: Feb. 19, 2006.

If you know these people but are not a relative, you can help by contacting their relatives and telling them what needs to be done and the dire consequences if they don't. In the near future, I'll post a new entry with an update on the scheme.

"Locally Grown" podcast for 02.10.06


Issues covered in show #7 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Friday afternoon:

  • Carleton's Bursting the Bubble civic engagement series: 0-6:00
  • Economic development plan update: 6:00
  • Outdoor swimming pool update: 8:15
  • Clem Shearer Micro Grant decision: 9:30
  • Upadopting 1306: 13:45
  • Public utitlities/city-wide wi-fi: 16:00
  • Green businesses: 21:45
  • Jobs for/business startups by college students: 26:00
  • "Third" places in downtown: 35:45
  • Outdoor dining on public spaces in downtown: 38:15
  • Community media task force update: 49:00

Click the play button to listen (52 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 on the show.


Open houses today: Village on the Cannon; Northfield Crossing

Northfield's two large-scale downtown residential developments are both hosting open houses today. Left: Village on the Cannon's Phase II grand opening is from 11-2. Right: Northfield Crossing's condo demo unit is open from noon-6. I took both photos early this morning during a light snowfall. Click to enlarge.

Be a Part of Northfield History in the Making - Take Our Survey!

With the incredible broadening and improvement of our services, facilities and community outreach at the Northfield Historical Society your comments; thoughts, ideas and opinions are essential. To be sure we’re headed down the right path in enhancing our relevance, importance and value to the widest possible audience we have posted a simple Web-based survey.

This is just a starting point to gain some initial general public perceptions. We will be conducting much more research in the near future which will guide how your Historical Society can play an even more significant role in the future of the Northfield Community. We need your insights and perspectives as we continue building the bridge from our past to our future.

Please take a moment to click through this questionnaire and add any thoughts, comments or concerns you might have. Click here to take survey Also, please feel free to stop in for a visit. If it’s been more than six months you’ll be amazed. And best yet, there’s more to come!

Friday Folic- Toff the College Cat Video

See this weblog post to access a student movie/video of Toff the College Cat.

Toff is sometimes found in classrooms, dorm rooms, even the President's Office.  On rare occasions I have had the honor of cat-sitting him or house-sitting his caretaker's residence.

Toff is becoming more famous, as his story has been on not only the Carleton website, but now the mnstories site linked above. Rumors of his moving to Hollywood are pure rubbish!

Weekend entertainment

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


See pages 8-9 of the current issue of the NEG, the Northfield Entertainment Guide (PDF)

Precinct Caucus Night on March 7, 2006

I remember being nine years old and sitting at my first precinct caucus.  I chimed in with my two cents about Jimmy Carter, and my parents beamed.  I've loved precinct caucus discussions ever since.

Once again it's time for us to put in our two cents worth.  While election day is not until November 7, 2006, precinct caucus night will happen soon.  Northfielders can get together to discuss everything from health care to educational funding, and more.   We can air our goals and dreams and talk about what makes us worried or concerned.

You don't have to declare your political party to attend, but DFLers and Republicans do caucus in different small groups.


St. Olaf Students Seeking Partners in Business Venture

A group of St. Olaf students interested in starting a Hookah establishment somewhere in maintown Northfield are searching for local investors to take part in startup costs and eventual profits. 

The location would consist of multiple seating areas, around 10-15 total each being about 6-8 square feet in both width and length.  While the original hope was to have this idea stand alone, we recognize the need for other business to keep it on its feet, the idea of including dining alongside has been considered though expertise on the subject would be needed for advisory.  There would also be a third venture running in the background namely, it would be decorated with appropriate artwork done by local residents and St. Olaf and Carleton students.

A business similar to this one is currently doing quite well for itself in the suburbs of Chicago, and we hope to see the same success as we are not too far out of the cities. 

Two Receive Sertoma Awards

Northfield Citizens Online board member, Rotarian, and First National Bank of Northfield VP Rick Estenson and local chiropractor Dan Corbett were recently honored by Northfield Sertoma

Estenson received the Service to Mankind award, while Corbett was named Sertoman of the Year. Pictured with Estenson are (L) Mary Ellen Sturm and (R) Nola Matheson.

Carleton's Civic Engagement Series "Bursting the Bubble"

I was on a "Who Is Northfield?" lunch panel on Tuesday, part of Carleton ACT's two-week Civic Engagement Series called "Bursting the Bubble," currently in progress.

Center (L to R): ACT staffers Laura Uridil, Ben Pacht, Erin Sterling.
Right (L to R): Panelists Judy Bickel, Community Action Center Program Director, Laura Riehle-Merrill, ACT Center Coordinator, me,  Kathy Tezla, League of Women Voters moderator and Head of Collection Development, Carleton Library, Dan Bergeson, Carleton Director of Auxiliary Services and Special Projects and NDDC Board Member, Ben Pacht, ACT Student Coordinator for Youth Programs.

Kids in a candy store

My wife Robbie and I were eating Chicago-style hotdogs at Tiny's last night (50% off 5-7 pm!!) when this dad walked in with his kids. (If you know their names, please attach a comment.)

I took their photo (click to enlarge) because it occurred to me that it's a rare thing these days for kids to experience. i.e., a candy counter vs. a shelf of bagged candy in a giant grocery superstore. My grandma used to own a neighborhood grocery store on W. 7th St. in St. Paul and I have fond memories of my parents lifting me up to see the mouth-watering selection of goodies. 

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