The Freezer to host First Anniversary Show

The Freezer, a student-run music venue in Northfield, is holding their First Anniversary Concert this weekend.

The Freezer is located in the back of the building that is also used for the Northfield School of Arts and Technology.

The show itself will be held on Friday, with doors opening at 6pm. The cover charge is $5.00 at the door.

Featured bands are Killer Prom Queens, Autophobia, Dose, and Captain Purple.

For more information, see  this page on the show.

Upcoming PTO Beach Carnival

Brighten up your end of winter and come to Northfield’s Annual PTO Beach Party Carnival.  The Carnival will be held at the Northfield High School from 5:00 to 8:00pm on Friday, March 3rd.  Cafeteria and ticket sales open at 4:30pm.  A silent auction will feature many items such as 2 tickets to the 2006 St. Olaf Christmas Festival as well as the signed work of artist Wendell Arneson and author Mary Janice Davidson.  New this year for children is the inflatable climbing wall and slide.  There is also face-painting, games, cotton candy, pizza, souvenirs, a cakewalk and more!

Grandma Estenson wins

Evelyn Estenson's relatives delivered the comments to my entry last week titled A challenge to the relatives of these Northfielders.

She wins an all-expenses paid trip to a local coffeehouse of her choice with me. w00t!

Evelyn, pick a time and place and let me know by attaching a comment here.

Tony Glover plugs Spider John Koerner's and United Way's Elizabeth Schott's appearance at The Grand

The NDDC is bringing legendary guitarist and singer Spider John Koerner to The Grand this Thursday at 8 pm. Tickets are $6, $4 for students. (Click the poster image for a large PDF.)

See NDDC Exec. Director Ross Currier's three blog posts for background on Koerner and his collaborators, "Snaker" Dave Ray and Tony "Little Sun" Glover: 1) John Koerner and the Folk Revival ; 2) Carleton Class to take Field Trip to the Grand: 3) My Koerner, Ray and Glover Story .

Here's me doing a 5 minute recreation of Tony Glover's opening for his nightly stint as an 'underground' DJ on Twin Cities' radio station KDWB 63 back in 1968-69. Theme song: Procol Harum's Repent Walpurgis. 'Tony' plugs Spider John's appearance and asks his audience to donate to the Northfield Area United Way's campaign when they see Elizabeth Schott at the event. (My apologies for the lousy audio quality. No fancy tools available last night when I got the inspiration to do this.) Keep reading for the transcript:

A painful loss

A flyer at Northfield's Olympus Athletic Club caught my attention:  It showed a picture of Cheyenne Mariah Mendoza and gave the dates 01/01/94 to 01/01/06.

I read that Cheyenne’s family was in a car accident and that Cheyenne and her brother were injured. Cheyenne's brother Dakota survived the accident and is in need of care but Cheyenne’s injuries were fatal.  I read on to learn that the father held his daughter during the last few minutes.  What a terrible tragedy.  I can only imagine how horrible it must have been.  It was even Cheyenne’s birthday. 

We can help this family by attending a Saturday, February 25th, dinner and dance at the Eagle's Club.  Dinner's from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and there’ll be spaghetti. A silent auction will be held from 5:30 to 8:00 pm, and a DJ will play from 8:00 to midnight.  Tickets can be purchased at the Eagle’s Club, the liquor store, or at the door.  If you cannot go but wish to donate:  A Mendoza family benefit fund has been set up at Northfield’s First National Bank.

Playground removed from John North Park


Many of us on the north side of town, especially parents of small children, were dismayed to find our only nearby park play set suitable for little children removed. The sign in the right photo (click photos to enlarge) indicates the removal was due to safety reasons, which we certainly want to respect, but the clincher is we have to wait until 2007 for a new set.  As a resident of this part of town, I always felt that compared to other areas of town, our corner of northfield offers little in terms of open, public spaces suitable for children.

Last night's power outage

See Police Chief Gary Smith's weblog for info on last night's power outage.

And see the PDF of this Red Cross poster on power outage preparation.


Remembering the Road to Dignity walk, 20 years (and a bit) later

Last week, while home with the flu, I read a remarkable Northfield story I'd not known anything about until quite recently, when I became acquainted with the family involved.

Just over 20 years ago, the late Michel Monnot, a professor of French at Carleton, walked from the Twin Cities to Los Angeles to raise money and awareness for Parkinson disease research. His book, which ends with the story of the walk but is largely about the aftermath of being diagnosed with Parkinson disease at the age of 38, is From Rage to Courage: The Road to Dignity Walk. The walk was sponsored by the American Parkinson Disease Association, Northfield Hospital and Sandoz, Inc. He concluded his journey of what he estimated to be 3,801,000 steps (110 walking days, 15 miles per day, reducing the average stride by 20% to account for the fact that Parkinsonian steps are shorter than normal, and reducing it by another 20% "because I am a short Parkinsonian") twenty years ago last month, on January 24, 1986.

Caucus information for Northfield's 'Northsiders'

Northsiders is a term I use to describe those of us benighted Northfielders who live north of North Avenue, and are thus also residents of Dakota County.  It is our fate to live in a community in which most of the political talk involves politicians who do not actually represent us.  Some newcomers to the area may not even be aware of this.  In fact, judging from some of the signs I saw in neighbors' yards during the last election cycle, I'd say there are a few of us up here who were supporting candidates whom we couldn't even vote for!

If you are a Northsider, you live in ward 3, precinct 3 of Northfield in Dakota County.  (Click the image for a larger view or see the City's Election web page for a link to the full-size PDF.) Your city councilperson is Arnie Nelson, and your mayor is, of course, Lee Lansing.  At the state level, however, you live in district 36B.  Your state representative is Pat Garofalo, not Ray Cox; your state senator is Pat Pariseau, not Tom Neuville.  I thought I'd take this opportunity to inform fellow Northsiders about the upcoming caucus season, since this information is not generally covered by the Northfield News, and most of us do not subscribe to the Farmington Independent.

"Locally Grown" #8 features Elizabeth Schott and the Northfield Area United Way

Issues covered in show #8 of Locally Grown, recorded in the KRLX 88.1 FM studio at Carleton on Saturday afternoon: The Northfield Area United Way fund drive with guest Elizabeth Schott, Executive Director.

Click the play button to listen (30 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.

Winter scenes

Some miscellaneous winter-related photos I've taken recently: A dozen deer grazing in the corn field next to the Arb; an unconventional snowman; ice sculptures at Carleton. See the Winter scenes photo album in our gallery.

Or see them in the Northfield Group Photo Pool on Flickr  that we're experimenting with.


How cold is it?

24 hour tempurature chartIt was a cold one yesterday and last night -- no doubt about that. Just ask my car whose alternator died of hypothermia. The good people at Valley Autohaus gave me a jump last night (courtesy of AAA) and are operating on it this morning.

How cold was it? It reached -16 F just after 3 a.m. today, but the temperature has risen steadily since then and broke into positive territory around 10 a.m. Check out Carleton's weather database to see the latest weather info or to mine the databases and charts they keep.

The Big Wu (with the Flying Eklund Brothers) at The Rueb


I just got a phone call from a colleague, Andrew Eklund, CEO of Ciceron in Mpls. He's on his way to Northfield for tonight's Big Wu Anniversary Show at The Rueb, He and his brother Nathan will be on-stage.  Why?

From the Big Wu FAQ:

The Big Wu was founded in 1992 by St. Olaf College students Chris Castino (guitar), Terry VanDeWalker (vocals), and Jason Fladager (guitar). Andrew Eklund (bass; now owns Ciceron, Inc.), Nathan Eklund (Keyboards; now a High School teacher), Chip House (drums, now an internet marketing specialist) made up the rest of the regular line up. Julie Crumrine (vocals) and Julie Niksitch (vocals) made frequent appearances.

The band played their first gig on 2/14/1992 in the Lion's Pause in the basement of the old Ytterboe hall at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Every song played was a cover by the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, or the Allman Brothers. There weren't many people in attendance, and no one in attendance had any idea what was being born that night... continued

Weekend entertainment

negcoverthumbgeneric.gifThere's lots happening this weekend in the Northfield area, including The Big Wu Anniversary Show at The Rueb tonight and Night of a Zillion Laughs on Saturday at the Grand Event Center.


See pages 12-13 of the current issue of the NEG, the Northfield Entertainment Guide (PDF)

Blog Boy Chuck Olsen visits Carleton


Chuck Olsen visited John Schott's Cinema & Media Studies at Carleton College recently for two presentations: a screening of his documentary film Blogumentary and an introduction to videoblogging, including a look at Minnesota Stories, his daily videoblog. I was able to sneak into both classes. On Tuesday, he finished up with some socializing with the class and the professor at J. Grundy's Rueb 'n' Stein, AKA The Rueb.


Click the photos for a larger view and the poster thumbnail for a PDF of his visit.

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