Being Responsible: Cats and Birds Don't Mix

We're lonely out here. The Cairns' bird feeders are swinging away, completely empty. Not a single fine feathered friend. You might be surprised that we have to have it this way. Much to our chagrin, we realized we just couldn't feed the birds, anymore. We are, after all, kind hearted and responsible. We'd like to encourage you to be bird friendly, too: If you have a cat, you might not want to feed the birds, either.

School District Asks for Help Again with Budget Reductions


The Northfield School District has requested that the Budget Reduction Committee, formed last year to address shortfalls in revenue from the State, reconvene to address the district's continuing deficit, projected by Supt. L. Chris Richardson in the high school newsletter sent out recently to be approximately $700,000 at the end of the 2005-2006 school year.

A series of events led up to the lingering shortfall.

Despite successfully cutting $2.9 million from the 05-06 school year, the district still fell $300,000 short of its reductions goal "due to a reinstatement of some funding at the secondary level, maintenance of the school nurses across the district and the mandated program requirements for special education and English language learners." The rise in natural gas and diesel fuel prices are projected to be $225,000 higher than predictions last spring.

At the NAG: Family Farms: A Tribute


I stopped by the NAG gallery on Saturday afternoon to take a look at the Family Farms exhibit, with last summer's visit to the Closson family dairy farm south of town, part of the Sesquicentennial celebration, fresh in my mind. (My town-girl impression then: "Man, cows are big!" I'd never been so close to one before.)

The exhibit includes works by 14 local artists from about the last 50 years; the earliest work I noted was John Maakestad's "Cow Yard" (1958). I enjoyed Stephanie Henriksen's large standing cutout figures of a farm girl in overalls and a gardener with floppy hat and garden hose.

Long hours for the NCO Board, Tech Committee

It's been a weekend of long hours of volunteering for both the NCO Board and the Tech Committee. Click photos to enlarge.

"Locally Grown" podcast for Jan. 20

Issues covered in the 4th show of "Locally Grown," recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton yesterday afternoon:

1. Groundbreaking for Northfield Crossing: 0:00 to 7:00
2. Arts/cultural programming on 3rd Thursdays: 7:00 to 14:00
3. Cereal bowl bandshell in Ames Park: 14:00 to 17:30
4. Traffic calming: 17:30 to 26:00
5. Q-Comp update: 26:00 to 30:00
6. Straw poll to rate public school teachers: 30:00 to 33:00

Business owners having fun

While celebrating my daughter's birthday with her brothers last night, I took some photos of local business owners out relaxing. Left photo at Froggy Bottoms (L to R): Leigh Schrader, owner of Sunny Side Designs (jewelry) and a realtor with Northfield Home and Realty, Dave Hvistendahl, a partner in the law firm Hvistendahl, Moersch & Dorsey and co-owner of Froggy Bottoms, Denny Witgert co-owner of Hotdish ("dinners, lunches, parties, brunches"). Center 3 photos: Bill and Sheila Welch in a couples bowling league at Jesse James Lanes. Bill works for his brother Mark Welch who owns Welch Plumbing Inc. Sheila runs a cleaning service called Oh Sheila. Right photo: the surrealistic atmosphere of moonlight bowling. My daughter Gilly, with brothers Tyson and Graham.

Northfield Crossing groundbreaking photo album

Mendota Homes held a groundbreaking ceremony at noon today for Northfield Crossing, the mixed-used development on the old Kump Lumber site. web usage stats for 2005




YMCA Community Meeting

I attended the Northfield Area Family YMCA community wide meeting Tuesday night that was held at the Northfield High School. Tom Sisler (center photo), who has been professionally involved in the YMCA for over 30 years, was the guest speaker.

Red Cross blood drive at Carleton College Tue. and Wed.

The Red Cross is hosting a blood drive at Carleton College's Severance Great Hall today and Wednesday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Ed Kuhlman recognized

I got this email from NHS President Rob Schanilec yesterday: "Over the weekend Ed Kuhlman, local auctioneer extraordinaire and realtor was recognized by the Minnesota State Auctioneers Association for his always creative and effective marketing prowess."

South of town developments

Left: The Division Street Dentists building on Jefferson Road is near completion. Center: The bank in Dundas has a new name: Frandsen Bank & Trust. Right: The sales office for the Bridgewater Heights housing development on County Rd. 1 is open and a model home is under construction. Click photos to enlarge.

Cabaret Fills House

Cabaret Just Food Co-op staff, members and friends performed to a packed house this weekend at the Northfield Arts Guild Theater.


Just Food staff arranged for food and beverages. The staff organized the event independently of their official co-op responsibilities.

Hortense MacLeod, the meat, cheese and deli manager who helped organize the event, has experience of many performances under her belt. She says, "That was probably the best audience I have ever seen."

New YMCA Blog, community meeting

YMCA.JPGThe Northfield Area Family YMCA has started a new blog to keep the community up-to-date on the progress of bringing a YMCA to Northfield. It's now listed in the sidebar listing for the local civic blogosphere.

The most recent post encourages everyone to attend a Community Wide Meeting that will provide information and answers to questions about the YMCA, as well as present opportunities to get involved. I will be at the event with camera in hand. I do plan on making a post

"Locally Grown" podcast for Jan. 13; airs Thurs. on KRLX 88.1

"Locally Grown" is now the name of the weekly audio show about local Northfield issues. Our third show was recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton last Friday afternoon. The show airs for the first time this Thursday, Jan. 19th, 5:30 PM.

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