Looking For Something To Do This Weekend? One-Act Plays at the Nfld High School

I'm about to blow the lid off a well-kept secret: This year's performance of the student-directed One-Act Plays at the Northfield High School. I saw the performances last weekend. (Click the poster for a larger view.)

Okay, I HAD to go, because one of my daughters is involved. But by the time it was over, I had to admit it was one of the most delightful experiences I've had in a long time. The students did a fabulous job in selecting, directing, and acting in these short plays, and anyone who enjoys live theater with a bit of improv will have a great time.

At least one of the plays ("David's Redheaded Death") has a very adult element, so it's not appropriate for kids, but it's a sensitively done dramatic piece. "Ferris Wheel" is excellent; "Jack vs. Jill", a farcical legal proceeding, uses audience participation to determine the outcome; and "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" is very, very funny. Performances are this weekend at the NHS auditorium, Friday and Saturday evening at 7:00p. Do yourself a favor, and see what great creative kids we're turning out in this community.

No Parking Notice for West Side

These flyers showed up recently on windshields of cars parked in the parking lot at the SE corner of 2nd St. and Hwy 3. 

I had not seen any signs posted or heard of any City announcements, so I thought people would want to be aware of this no longer being "public parking" as it has been during the recent highway construction.

Click for a larger view. 

Charter Commission and City Government

U. S. ConstitutionAt its January meeting, the Northfield Charter Commission discussed its priorities for this year's agenda. Already, I may have lost half of you: even well educated, connected and involved citizens have asked me what the charter commission is (I serve on this commission.). The commission serves an important role in the governance of the community; in fact it plays a crucial role in what our community's governance looks like.

Northfield operates as a “chartered city” -- meaning it operates under its own charter or constitution. While this charter is subservient to the state constitution – much like the state constitution is subservient to the U. S. constitution – the charter details what form of government the city operates. Essentially, our charter details the roles and responsibilities of the top government officials of the city – elected, appointed and hired. All policies and actions of the city are subject to the charter's provisions.

Ice rescue practice; tracking external bloggers

Peter Schmelzer has a series of photos in this post to his Vivus Architecture business blog titled:

Cub Scouts Practice Ice Rescue — On Me!

I spotted this when I visually scanned the business newsfeeds box on the lower right sidebar and clicked on the entry which took me right to Peter's blog post on the rescue practice. See also the N.org page which lists all the external feeds for businesses.

Any Northfield area business with an RSS feed on their website can be included in this group. 

Looking Backward

I've lived in Northfield for almost 16 years. That doesn't sound like much to anyone who lives where they grew up, but it's considerably longer than I've lived anywhere else, as I've hopped around from place to place over the course of my 40-some years. Here, for the first time, I have watched children grow from toddlers to college students. Here, for the first time outside my family, I know people with gray hair that I remember as brunettes. Here, in the smallest town I've lived in, I know the slightly disorienting feeling of regularly running into people you know from one context in other contexts (seeing your dental hygienist at the supermarket, for example).

More than the front page

I'd like to eventually see dozens of items submitted to N.org each day.

A small percentage of these will be "promoted" to the front page. We'll be exercising editorial decision-making for what the right mix is each day.

For example, I think it would be cool to have 15 sports stories submitted each day. Or even more extreme, 15 hockey or soccer stories. Or 15 arts-related stories. Or business. Etc. 

All of them would be published to their respective categories and we'd scan them to see if one or more might be good for front page promotion.

Two items submitted this week that are NOT on the front page:

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

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